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May Scholarship Winners | #WeBelongInCollege

Last updated September 26, 2020

Introducing the three #WeBelongInCollege Scholarship winners from May 2020! Congratulations to Stephany, Chris, and Samantha! Your stories are truly inspirational.

But first, watch how these students found out they won a $1,000 College Scholarship! 

Stephany’s #WeBelongInCollege Story

As soon as classes began, Stephany started to question if she belonged in college. She was afraid that she would fail because she is an immigrant and an English language learner. She knows when she transfers to a new school next semester, the same fears will return. But this time, she won’t let the fear make her question if she belongs.

Chris’s #WeBelongInCollege Story

As a commuter student, Chris struggled socially in college. It seemed that the other students, especially those who were dorming, were socially engaged in a way he wasn’t. So he came up with a goal that ended up benefiting many other students who were equally eager to make more social connections.

Samantha’s #WeBelongInCollege Story

Samantha didn’t doubt whether she belonged in college. However, as a DACA recipient, she couldn’t qualify for any federal financial aid. After her father was deported and she had to work full time to support her mother and siblings, she started to question her college plans. Read her story to understand how she came to believe that she DOES belong in college.

"My name is Samantha, I am a DACA applicant. While I was graduating high school, I had applied to many colleges, although my high school never told me that I could not receive any federal funds which meant no money from public colleges, as they were run by the government. I was excited to go and not knowing this made it so hard on me to apply to private schools at a late notice. A few months later, I did not go to college right away because I had to enter the workforce to help my parents financially. I was very upset as I couldn't go. I prayed that next year, I would. The year 2018 -2019 was tough, I had planned to go to college this year but my dad got deported and I was the only one working in my household. I had four siblings and my mom to take care of. I thought to myself do I even belong in college? It seemed like every time I planned to go, something had to interfere. The only way I could help my family at these times was to work. This is the year that the COVID-19 is affecting lots of families, for me being the only income for my household. I lost many hours at work and my salary was not met to pay my bills or rent. I was feeling overwhelmed. I felt like my personal life was put aside. I talked to many of my close friends who were supportive. Many of them help me with financial support in some situations. I started to realize that I needed to go to college to study for a degree. To have a degree, it prepares you intellectually and socially, for your career life. The benefits of going to college helps us find career opportunities like better paying and high skilled jobs. I want to succeed in life to start my business and to help my family as well. Life is a challenge, but something I learned that it's not impossible to overcome. I know that we all have struggles in life, but you can always succeed. Many young adults going back to college is a big milestone to complete and should feel proud about the decision they are taking. We all belong in college to prepare ourselves for the future. I am proud of all my family and friends who are succeeding and I give you all my blessings!"

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