Elease Dillard/The Student Navigator
Months before her high school graduation, Elease Dillard made the tough decision to deny the opportunity to pursue playing college basketball and solely pursue academics instead. Considering the last-minute decision to not play college basketball, plus having a younger sibling graduating high school in two years, Elease concluded that she would pay for college herself. However, there was one problem. She had no idea how or where to start!
With that goal in mind, Elease developed a plan of action and was able to graduate college debt-free. She graduated college Cum Laude from Georgia Gwinnett College and currently holds a B.S. in Cell Biology with a concentration in Biotechnology. As a freshman and sophomore in college, Elease interned with The Neuroscience Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. Her junior year, she interned on behalf of The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at The University of California San Francisco, where she conducted an independent study.
Experienced at winning scholarships and landing internships, Elease founded The Student Navigator because she wants to help ease the stress and frustration that is commonly associated with paying for a degree and pursuing a career. In addition, she encourages students to maximize their educational experience. Elease hopes her story will inspire others to take action towards living in freedom, passion, and purpose.
Elease is also the bestselling author of Funding College Debt-Free: your Interactive Guide Towards Living a Life of Freedom, Passion, and Purpose.
Cally D’Angelo/Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce
The Gwinnett Chamber is the forum for business, government, education, healthcare, arts/culture/entertainment, and philanthropic and public-service communities to come together to advance our region’s economy and enrich Gwinnett’s quality of life.