My anniversary date is coming up in July for the day that I decided to return to college. The moment in my life where I realized that I was not going to be a victim anymore. I will not continue to self-destruct my dreams out of fear of the unknown. I am not a product of my past environment; I am a visionary with a beautiful testimony of overcoming adversity despite all odds.
As a hopeless single parent facing unemployment, I knew that I had to change the direction of my future for myself and my children. With a tank full of gas and a courageous heart, I raced towards my dream of completing my education.
I applied for the Live Your Dream Awards during my first semester of college. I did not have any formal training on how to write an essay for a scholarship and I was battling myself to submit the application. I was not confident yet, but I was courageous. The award amount was enough to pay for my tuition and living expenses for an entire semester. This award taught me how to budget to ensure self-sufficiency.
I learned how to be a survivor and let go of all the negative feelings associated with being a victim of life-long domestic violence. My children and I have lived in peace, and we have grown closer together since my return to college. Engaging in opportunities on and off campus has allowed me to travel across the United States multiple times. Living my dream was such a small idea that has blossomed into something greater than I ever imagined. I learned how to use my story to inspire other women and even men too!
As a 2016-2017 Pearson Student Advisory Board member, I hope to shed light on the impact of scholarships in student’s lives that have limited resources and limited family support throughout college. Pearson believes in the concept of always learning. I think that the world of education should be taught about how alleviating the financial burden from a student can empower them to focus more attentively on their studies. For example, if I were worried about putting food on the table for my children, I would not be focused on completing my assignments to the best of my ability.
I am grateful for the continued support of Soroptimist and LiveYourDream.org. You have helped me develop into an educated mother that is taking advantage of each and every door of opportunity associated with higher education. The most rewarding experience was being asked to judge the next year’s applicants. Taking a seat on the other side was delightful because I felt like I could help another woman live her dream!
Please understand that the award not only helps us, but it also changes us into confident women who are no longer afraid to live our dreams. Thank you!