I know a young girl that strived to thrive in a broken home fraught with drug addiction and mental health disorders. The day after her father attempted suicide the principal called her into his office to introduce her to a lady named Rebecca. Now, Rebecca wasn't just any ordinary school counselor. Her job title was 'Behavioral Specialist' and she worked for College Dreams; a 501 (c) (3) located in the young girls hometown in Southern Oregon. The young girl was offered to join College Dreams, a program for students that aspired to go to college but need guidance and professional counsel because of life circumstances that could potentially prevent education success. The young girl was told that if she wanted to be in the program she would have to commit to maintaining at least a 2.75 GPA, be drug free, and stay out of trouble; that if she stayed true to that commitment then she could be awarded college scholarships among other privileges such as having her sport of choice paid for. She was thrilled that she was asked to be a part of College Dreams and took home all the information Rebecca had given her to show to her grandparents. From that day forward she was a College Dreamer!
College Dreams provided her with wonderful adult guidance throughout high school. Her counselor encouraged her and inspired her to pursue her dream to join the Navy and serve her country and attend college. Not only did the staff at College Dreams shower her with genuine care, understanding and direction, but because of College Dreams she was also awarded a few small scholarships that she eventually used for college tuition. She was also allowed to use her scholarship money to buy a laptop and printer for her online courses.
Thirteen years later, this young woman is now a five year Navy Veteran and a full-time college student at UTSA majoring in Public Administration and minoring in Non-profit management. I know this story so well because I was the young girl that is now the young woman living out her college dreams. I don't know where I would have ended up if I was never called into the principles’ office that day. Sadly, like many other predisposed youths I could have easily become a high school drop-out and addicted because that was the line I was walking when College Dreams had stepped in to re-direct me.
College Dreams is why I give. I understand the importance of organizations such as College Dreams because of my own experience and how my life was positively impacted by a local nonprofit. I give because I have hope for my community and the youth in it that want to thrive despite their unfortunate life circumstances. I want to give because I know that I am not the only person out there that has a positive impact story to tell. It means a lot to me that I am able to give back to the organization that helped me to become the person I am now; a person capable of giving! Every time I give back to College Dreams, no matter how small the dollar, it is meaningful for me because I am reminded of the wonderful people like Rebecca that pour their heart and soul into helping mold others in a beautiful and compassionate way.
Review from #MyGivingStory