The Luckyday Program

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Rayelle Jiles, May 2010 Luckyday Graduate

Rayelle Jiles is a Registered Nurse employed at Atlanta Cancer Care as a Clinical Informatics Specialist, and in the medical intensive care unit at Emory University Hospital. She is responsible for supporting the planning, development, implementation, and ongoing monitoring and modification of computerized health systems. She also provides and evaluates patient care where high-intensity treatment and supervision is required to enhance positive patient outcomes. Rayelle acquired her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of South Alabama.

Words of wisdom to Luckyday Scholars:

“The Luckyday program enabled a smooth transition from high school to college, provided mentors, and fostered positive study habits that followed me through obtaining my master’s degree. Take advantage of this opportunity by utilizing your resources and strong support system. Establish lifelong relationships that you will take with you along your journey. Stay focused and never give up!”

Rayelle Jiles, MSN, RN Clinical Informatics Specialist at Atlanta Cancer Care

Nurse Clinician III at Emory University Hospital

BSN, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Martin Fisher, Orientation Leaders 2016. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Martin Fisher, May 2011 Luckyday Graduate

Martin Fisher serves as Assistant Director of Admissions for Orientation & Campus Visit Programs at The University of Mississippi.  “I have the privilege of directing the new student orientation programs and overseeing on-campus recruitment events for the University of Mississippi. This role provides me the opportunity to recruit future Rebels, assist new students in transitioning to life at Ole Miss, and mentor and train current student leaders.  Luckyday’s financial support helped make my college education a reality. The mentorship and academic support provided by the Luckyday staff played a major role in my transition from high school to college and was integral in my success during my undergraduate years at Ole Miss.”

Words of Wisdom to Luckyday Scholars:

“Take advantage of all the resources and experiences the University of Mississippi has to offer. That often means stepping out of your comfort zone. I encounter many students who are simply afraid to ask for help. Some feel like they are the only ones struggling with a particular issue or are just too shy to ask. I strongly encourage students to ask for help early and often; don’t wait until it is too late. Also, find ways to connect to campus. Joining student organizations or finding other ways to engage in student life outside the classroom can really enhance your experience.”

Martin Fisher, B.A. in Public Policy Leadership
Assistant Director of Admissions for Orientation & Campus Visit Programs
The University of Mississippi

Gloria Howell

Gloria Howell, May 2011 Luckyday Graduate

Gloria L. Howell is currently pursuing a PhD in higher education student affairs at Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington, Indiana. Her research interests include Black student identity development, college readiness for marginalized populations, culturally relevant curriculum, cultural arts education, and Black feminism. She works as an associate instructor in the School of Education and teaches a course entitled “Foundations for Undergraduate Student Success at a Research University” for freshmen Hudson & Holland scholars, a college access and success program at IU. Gloria also serves as program coordinator for the Balfour Pre-College Academy, a program that allows rising high school seniors to ‘test-drive’ college and become equipped with the tools they need to make informed decisions regarding higher education. Gloria is extremely involved in various extracurricular activities including the Graduate Emissaries for Diversity program housed in the IU Graduate School and the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) where she served as president during the 2014-2015 academic year. In March 2016, Gloria received the Graduate Student Award for the Multicultural Affairs division of the Association of College Personnel Administrators (ACPA) for her work with the Balfour Scholars Program and the BGSA. Gloria also takes pride in giving back to the community. She serves as co-coordinator of the Homework Help program at Bethel AME Church in Bloomington. She is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Kappa Tau Omega chapter, where she co-chairs a signature program designed to prepare high school students for college and career success. 

Words of Wisdom to Luckyday Scholars:

“Put first things first, and take care of business in the classroom. Establish your scholarly identity and find your niche in your major and even outside of your major. You are encountering some courses that challenge you and may even frustrate you to your wit’s end at times. But, remember that you owe it to yourself as well as your support system and those who invest in you such as the Luckyday staff to put your best foot forward and excel. Also, take advantage of resources! Don’t let you simply not knowing, or not showing up, be the reason that you miss out on opportunities. The Luckyday program always kept us abreast of academic and social opportunities that definitely enhanced my college experience. I was able to meet some stellar people who simply looked out for me and opened doors that would have otherwise remained closed had I not gotten to know them. Network, network, network! Go for what you want, and don’t settle for less than you deserve.”

Gloria L. Howell, M.A.
Indiana University
Doctoral Student, Higher Education Student Affairs
Associate Instructor, Hudson and Holland Scholars Program
Program Coordinator, Balfour Pre-College Academy


Jodie Nicole Chavez, May 2014 Luckyday Graduate

Jodie Chavez works for the Republican National Committee (RNC) where she is employed as a Regional Political Coordinator for the Western United States. As a coordinator, she is a liaison between State Parties and the RNC headquarters. She is gaining experience with political campaigns ranging from the state to national level. Jodie works hand in glove with her Regional Political Directors to ensure the success of State Parties, grassroot campaign operations, and a strong expansion of the Republican Party. She also gained experience serving as support staff at Presidential Caucuses and Republican State Conventions. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Words of Wisdom to Luckyday Scholars:

“Look at every job, no matter how big or small, as an opportunity. As a prestigious scholar you already have a dream opportunity. Make the most of it! Get to know the people around you. You never know what you may have in common, relationships that can develop, and potential opportunities that could result just by being respectful and diligent. The RNC has allowed me to meet a vast network of people across the nation from all backgrounds. In turn this helps me to be better at my position as a political operative and to relay what I’ve learned as a mentor. It is so important to give back to not only those who have helped you but to teach others what you have learned along the way.”

Jodie Chavez, B.A. in Public Policy Leadership
Regional Political Coordinator at the Republican National Committee
Former Trent Lott Leadership Associate and Luckyday Scholar