Rattler creates non-profit for high school, college students

Promotional image of Makira Burns for nonprofit ‘Igniting Scholars’. Photo Courtesy: Makira Burns Instagram

Florida A&M University is an institution where opportunities are abundant and success may literally be one contact away.

Makira Burns, a third-year student majoring in political science at FAMU, has ambitiously acted on her passion of being a public servant and launched a nonprofit organization called Igniting Scholars.

Igniting Scholars is dedicated to preparing both high school and college students to be successful in their professional and academic endeavors.

“The purpose of Igniting Scholars is to provide opportunities for students to minimize their college debt and maximize every opportunity they are given during their collegiate experience,” Burns explained. “We are not doing this for anything in return, we’re just looking for results and to see students succeed and reach the next level.”

Igniting Scholars offers services from resume building, interview preparation, career readiness planning, personalized scholarships lists and personal statements.

Through the services of her nonprofit, Burns has successfully helped several students seize opportunities that may have previously been out of their reach.

Igniting Scholars has aided student Kaylin Bronson in landing an internship position at Baker-Mckenzie Law Firm and helped student Kimbria Michel acquire over $12,000 in scholarships.

Michel shared a personal testimonial for her success gained through working with Igniting Scholars.

“I never really knew where to start, but she helped me by telling me where to look and what kind of scholarships to do,” Michel said. “If it wasn’t for her success and advice, I don’t think I would’ve ever started.”

Makira Burns announces the launch of her nonprofit ‘Igniting Scholars’ in a presentation to the student senate. Photo Courtesy: Kenan Mercius

The nonprofit’s founder has accumulated over $65,000 in scholarships herself and has landed over five internships, including her current internship as a Florida Gubernatorial fellow.

She accredits her personal accomplishments and the success of her nonprofit to three intangible qualities: passion, purpose, and drive.

“I give my peers the necessary tools to reach their goals and win those scholarships, but the drive and motivation to use those tools and implement everything I said comes from within… No one can give you that drive, only you,” Burns said.

Burns strives to use Igniting Scholars to reach students, like herself, that have the same burning desire to be successful and bring them closer to their goals.

“What makes Igniting Scholars special is that we really focus on service and helping passionate students reach their goals.” Burns explained.

McKinley Wilson, a stakeholder for Igniting Scholars, was eager to share his excitement for the potential for the student driven non-profit.

“This nonprofit org has the potential to literally shake up Tallahassee and change it like it’s never been changed before,” said Wilson. “Igniting Scholars has the potential to impact the lives of college students, as well as high school students, in the area of professional development, applying for scholarships, and college readiness.”