School: Florida State University
Year: Fall 2015 – Present
House: Pilot Scholarship House
Whenever I tell people that I live with 20 other girls in one scholarship house, usually their jaw drops and they ask “why?”
“It’s easy,” I tell them. “Because it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to my life.”
My story begins at the beginning of my senior year when my college dream finally started to become a reality. As I began to apply to various universities and anticipated their responses, I became increasingly excited for what my life was going to be like in a year. However, as I began to plan out my future once I received my acceptance letter from Florida State University, my excitement dwindled as I realized that my future was most likely going to be highlighted by student loans rather than career pursuits.
Coupled with my anxiety about my future was my distress over my difficult home situation. Growing up, my five siblings and I struggled to endure our parents’ emotional abuse and manipulation. Later, my parents divorced and fought for custody over the two youngest children, my brother and myself. In the end, my mother left and for the next five years of my life, I lived with my father in a house that I could not call home. The situation worsened when my brother left for college in my senior year of high school. I found myself alone with my father and his wife. Though I worked part time at Publix and diligently strove to excel at my community college, the most stressful part of the day for me was coming home. I never felt safe, welcomed, wanted, or supported. For five months at the end of my senior year, I was prohibited from attending church and seeing my loved ones. I felt completely and utterly alone while I was distanced from my friends and siblings, who were the only ones who comforted me.
During this time, I applied to SSF. I worked strenuously to submit a decent application. I had no idea how I was going to pay for tuition and board with my part time job and without any support from my parents. After much time, hard work, and prayer, I got an email that welcomed me to the SSF family. On that day, my whole life changed.
Now, I live in Pilot House with twenty other girls. I’m double majoring in History and Spanish and minoring in Museum Studies in the hopes that one day I can inspire others and help them find their passion through my museum dream job. Whenever I come home after a long day of work and class, there are twenty wonderful and amazing girls who greet me and ask me about my day. I have never experienced an atmosphere of such love and support before. We all work together to build each other up and encourage each other in our pursuits. For so much of my life, I had forgotten what it was like to want to go home. Now, I love being home. This has been God’s greatest blessing to me because SSF has given me something that I have never had before: a home.