Gabrielle A. Davis: From Upward Bound Star to attorney

One of SWASAP’s 2022 TRIO Achievers, Gabrielle is currently an associate attorney at Albertelli Law.

From the inception of her Upward Bound-Magnolia career, starting in 2010, Gabrielle was fully invested in TRIO. It was not just another opportunity to get out of school early or to not take education seriously. It was a serious matter as she forewent softball games, dance practices, choir rehearsals, and other extracurricular activities to ensure her academic success. 

Gabrielle thoroughly enjoyed Wednesday nights, where she gained college exposure, took academic courses, and interacted with people from diverse backgrounds; of course – they all loved the stipends, and she says it truly felt like family. 

She participated in the Upward Bound summer program for three consecutive summers and received numerous awards, including being consecutively named an Upward Bound Star by leadership and her peers. Gabrielle also participated in the 2012 Southwest Association of Student Assistance Programs (SWASAP) Student Leadership Conference as a part of TRIO, where she earned a scholarship. 

Every opportunity Upward Bound provided, including passing out graduation programs on a Saturday, she was there. Gabrielle was committed to being civically engaged in her community at that same time by continuously participating in service efforts and affiliating herself with citizens of the small town, Magnolia, and Columbia County

As a result of her community involvement, she was named the 2014 Columbia County Young Person of the Year, the highest county youth accolade, and graduated as 2014 Upward Bound valedictorian. 

She graduated from Southern Arkansas University (SAU) with a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science. 

Gabrielle received much recognition during her time there, but she always affiliated herself with her roots. If “never forget where you come from” was a person, she says it would be her. 

She joined the Student Support Services team as a writing advisor and academic tutor from 2017 to 2018, was named the TRIO Achiever in 2018, and was awarded the 2018 Helping Hands Award. As someone from a low-income family with zero guidance, Gabrielle relied on programs such as Upward Bound to provide supportive services and guide her to college, so she knew the importance of providing support. 

Her participation in TRIO projects fueled her ambition to set new standards. Because of it, Gabrielle completed two international study abroad programs to China and France, interned on Capitol Hill for a United States Representative, completed civil and criminal internships, was named the 2018 SAU Student Leader of the Year, became a published author, served as a legal writing advisor, and received a host of other awards and recognition.

She was and still is determined to be a part of something greater.

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