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2017 Hillyer Outstanding Young Alumna Award Winner Inspires Students to Work Hard and Never Give up


Posted 10/24/2017
Category: Accolades
Kweyah and her Hillyer mentor Professor Melinda Miceli

Kweyah and her Hillyer mentor Professor Melinda Miceli

Kweyah McLemore-Cook A’09, 11, M’17 is a great example of how early career preparation and hard work pays off. With a prestigious internship and community involvement on her resume, it was no coincidence that McLemore-Cook landed her dream job at United Technologies after graduating from Hillyer College and Barney School of Business.

Soon after, she was selected for United Technologies’ prestigious Financial Leadership Program, where she worked for their offices in Chicago, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Florida. Six years after graduating, McLemore-Cook now works as specialist in financial planning and analysis at Otis Elevator, a division of United Technologies in West Palm Beach, Fl.

On Thursday, Oct. 19, McLemore-Cook talked to students about her career success when she returned to campus to receive the 2017 Hillyer College Outstanding Young Alumna Award. She encouraged students to create connections early on and to step outside of their comfort zones. “Relationships are everything,” she explained.

She also told them the importance of never giving up. Before McLemore-Cook was accepted into Hillyer College, her advisor told her that she might not be able to go to college because her SAT scores were too low. After receiving several rejection letters from other universities, McLemore-Cook was really excited when she finally was accepted to Hillyer College. “It gave me a chance to write my own story,” she says.

Right from the moment McLemore-Cook stepped on to campus, she felt supported and as part of a family. “Everyone in Hillyer College wanted me to succeed,” she explains. Throughout her time at the University, McLemore-Cook was a campus tour guide, a residential assistant, and an honors student.  “The University gave me motivation and inspiration.”

In addition to working for United Technologies, McLemore-Cook is also committed to community service. In her spare time, she helps with everything from organizing a back-to-school-drive for families in need to providing meals around Thanksgiving.

Kweyah and her Hillyer mentor Professor Melinda Miceli

Kweyah and her Hillyer mentor Professor Melinda Miceli