The very first recipient of the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) Scholarship Program embarks on a new journey today.
Jeneva Miller has completed her four-year Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Accounting and a minor in Business Studies, at the Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia, but today she makes a move to New Jersey where she will be looking to secure a worker’s permit to engage in an internship to gain some valuable experience ahead of starting her Master’s Degree.
“I would like to do my Master’s in one or two years, but my main focus is to secure an internship to gain some experience. Because of COVID last year I wasn’t able to do that, so I have to do that process and then I can go into my field of accounting after that internship. Hopefully, I will be able to do my Master’s in a year or two," she said.
In 2018, Miller was offered the BFA’s first scholarship through funds secured from Concacaf which paid for all her expenses over the last four years, after she received a partial scholarship to Alderson Broaddus.
“I would like to thank Randy Harris and all the BFA for believing in me and making my dreams come to reality. Also for helping me to experience soccer at another level and to gain a Bachelor’s Degree,” she said.
And while she has not looked at schools to pursue her Master’s Degree just yet, Miller said she would be doing an accounting exam in one to two years which would allow her to qualify for another scholarship.
The former Wesley Hall and Alleyne School student, who played for Mavericks Sports Club as a center back, right back or defensive midfielder, said juggling studying and football was easy as football was a sport she loved.
“It pushed me to become a better me. In terms of schooling it was a different system than Barbados so I had to learn the new system. It was challenging in the first year, but eventually I was able to grasp the concept of it,” she said.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic also presented some challenges. She said when the pandemic began in March 2020, Alderson Broaddus was shut down, and she had to adjust to the new online way of learning.
“It was kind of frustrating because for me accounting is like problem solving and I need to be seeing stuff on a board, as it helps me a lot better. Doing it on the Internet was hard and I often had to wait on my professor to reply to emails in a couple hours, but I was able to adjust,” she said.
Acknowledging that online learning has been more difficult for some, Miller advised those in a similar situation to remain focused on their goals.
“You set goals for yourself on what you want to achieve, and setting goals that drive you no matter the circumstances, no matter what may come your way, as long as you know what you want to accomplish, regardless of what is going on; that goal will always drive you to overcome whatever obstacles are in your way and you would more than be able to succeed,” she said resolutely.
The 23-year-old said graduation was not traditional, but she was still grateful to have had an in-person graduation given the circumstances. However, she said the graduation was done by degree, and while no faculty members were in attendance, families were able to see them graduate in the 30-45 minute ceremony.
“I am thankful for that opportunity to walk across the stage. It wasn’t easy. This was the most challenging four years of my life. My parents never heard me complain because I didn’t want to worry them, so I am just glad to get it all over with and move on,” she said.