Justin Correll, a student at the University of Florida’s college of engineering and native of Jacksonville, is the winner of Kaplan Test Prep’s annual Where Will You Take You $25,000 Sweepstakes. Kaplan created this national sweeps about 10 years ago to offer college students and young professionals – many of whom aspire to enroll in graduate, business, law or medical school – a chance to start their own business, pay off student loans or pay tuition to earn that higher degree. Justin’s name was selected at random out of thousands of entries from across the United States and Canada.
It’s been a long, but worthwhile road for Justin to get to this point in his career. After graduating high school, Justin enrolled in college, only to quit after one semester to enroll in a trade school instead. After receiving his electrician’s license and working a few years, Justin came to realize the importance of a college degree in meeting his professional goal of becoming an engineer, so he enrolled at Florida State College, a community college in Jacksonville. He then moved to Gainesville in spring 2012 with his wife, where he enrolled at the University of Florida that summer to study engineering. Enter Kaplan.
Justin explained that a Kaplan rep had been handing out sweepstakes forms around campus. He eagerly signed up – though the friends he was with didn’t. “They thought nobody ever wins these kinds of things,” Justin laughed. And oh, how they were wrong. A couple of months later, while Justin was sitting on a campus bench mentally preparing for a phone interview for a potential summer internship, his phone rang. Not recognizing the New York area code, but thinking it could be another internship possibility (he applied to several), he picked up and got the exciting news that he won Kaplan Test Prep’s Where Will You Take You $25,000 Sweepstakes…which he says he completely forgot he even entered.
“Winning this money gives me the freedom to fully pursue my career and education goals without worrying as much about how much it will all cost. My options are so much broader now. It has really changed my life,” said Justin who is financing his BA through Pell grants and loans. “I want to pursue a master’s in engineering to secure a job in which I’ll be working on something innovative. I want to come up with new ideas about how to better use technology and energy. I want to be driving these ideas.” Justin says he is particularly passionate about renewable energy.