All my life I was told I had the tools to be successful. I did fairly well in school, was ambitious, had innovative ideas and had solid networking connections. Everything was going according to plan, until December, 2016.
My dad prior to that date, had moved back to our home country in Africa to live out his retirement. He brought us into this country as refugees from a war torn nation, to set us up for a better tomorrow. He earned his retirement, which is why finding out he had colon cancer was a blow to my mental health. Finding that out, it steered me away from everything. From my plans, my vision board, my academics, it led me to spiral. Never addressing the main factor of my mental distress had resulted in me neglecting school in the worst way possible. Spring 2017 was my worst semester of college yet. It resulted in me getting academically dismissed for a full year. Feeling shame and guilt at failing, I decided to hide this fact, and work my ass off to get back into school. Working full time, paying off rent near campus, and hiding the fact I wasn’t in school from my friends and family. My pride didn’t allow me to ever ask for help, or let my loved ones know I’ve failed them. Fast forward a year, and I went back to school fall of 2018 and got back on track. I made the deans list that semester and was set to finish college strong. Unfortunately, I ran into another major setback. My financial aid was declined for the fall of 2018 due to my past academic failings. That resulted in having that semester’s tuition cost hit my student account.
$8,515.66, it is a number that has haunted me since I found out about its existence. $8,515.66, it’s a number I’ve dreamt about for the past 10 months. It’s the number that is stopping me from closing this chapter of my life that I’ve worked so hard for. It’s the number that’s preventing me from utilizing the networks I’ve acquired to find a steady career that will in turn help me pay more of my dads medical bills. I have fought too hard throughout my life to let this obstacle be the deciding factor in my subsequent failure in helping out my loved ones. Being a first generation college grad, and providing financial freedom to both of my parents. That is why I am swallowing my pride and asking for the generous help of complete strangers. Strangers who I will feel connected with for the rest of my life. I would never be able to repay my gratitude back to those who choose to help, but I would make a daily promise to use their donations as the strongest motivator to create a better life for those around me, and for my community. You will be the biggest reason why my college will have to free my degree.
I thank you all for taking the time out and getting to know me.