Douglas County High School graduate Joy Peltier was recently featured on the University of Georgia's giving website "Commit to Georgia."

Peltier is a member of UGA's Class of 2017.

The feature is headlined, "Removing Barriers and Opening Doors: Joy Peltier '17 knew what she wanted out of her college experience long before she arrived in Athens, Georgia."

"One of the reasons we chose to feature Joy is because she received one of the most prestigious scholarships here at UGA, the Foundation Fellowship, and has taken full advantage of the opportunities it's afforded her," said Leigh Raynor in the Development and Alumni Relations Department at UGA. "I think it's also great that she prioritized interning and volunteering in her hometown."

The story starts off pointing out how Peltier knew what she wanted out of her college experience before she got to UGA -- to conduct research, study abroad, hone her foreign language skills, learn about philosophy and have meaningful mentorship opportunities along the way.

To accomplish her goals, the article points out, Peltier knew she would need financial assistance.

The article reads: "As a recipient of the university's foremost undergraduate scholarship, the Foundation Fellowship, all of Joy's ambitions have been realized. Now, as she pursues a joint bachelor's and master's degrees in romance language linguistics with the ultimate goal of earning her Ph.D., she is confident her curriculum vitae will stand apart from the competition."

see peltier/page B5

Peltier began her Foundation Fellowship, a highly competitive, privately funded scholarship at UGA, during her sophomore year. The requirements were even more stringent as a mid-term applicant, but with the encouragement of program director Jessica Hunt, Peltier reached her goal.

"Every step of the way this university has been behind me," said Peltier, "I am very, very thankful to the donors that make the fellowship possible."

The article notes Peltier started conducting research during her freshman year, long before many students have the opportunity to develop their research skills.

"After assisting with a project to help adult learners of English as a second language, Joy became determined to try her hand at her own research," the article reads. "With the support of the fellowship, she led her own project focused on the French and Spanish languages, an undertaking that has expanded into her master's thesis."

The articles goes on to point out that Peltier's "academic career has been marked by flexibility; through hard work and a genuine love for learning, she has forged her own path and gained the experiences she will need to one day be a professor. Joy studied abroad in France during her junior year, but sought out a more non-traditional and immersive program, in which she served as a live-in tutor for a host family in a small town near Paris. This program allowed her to practice her teaching skills and vastly improve her French."

And the article notes Peltier also received funding for a summer service internship, through which she traveled to her hometown of Douglasville and put her language skills into practice.

"She interned at The CarePlace, a free health care clinic, where her role was to recruit local medical providers to serve as volunteers," the article reads. "She quickly identified a need at the clinic for a translator, and so she spent her Saturday mornings assisting in the patient advocacy office. She used her foreign language skills to help patients navigate the healthcare system. This experience had a profound impact on Joy and she hopes to get certified as a volunteer medical interpreter after graduation."

Peltier was originally motivated to apply for the Foundation Fellowship after interacting with fellows in her residence hall, the article notes. She was impressed by the diversity of personalities, interests and backgrounds but also by the deep passion that bound the students together. Undoubtedly, Joy's academic career has been marked by this same passion and drive.

"As a fellow, you are pushed to find the thing you are passionate about, and once you identify that thing, there are resources there to help you do it," said Peltier. "I've been able to do research, assist in classes, tutor, teach abroad, and have unique internship opportunities. The skills I've developed are going to be very important to my future career."

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