Hi, my name is Kayla Thompson. I am a 18 year old Florida resident, who is currently a senior at Darrow School, in New Lebanon, Ny. As a senior I currently applied to many colleges, and I ended with wonderful decisions to Purdue University, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Boston University, Michigan State University etc. These acceptances were each a huge moment for me, the problem though is that none of them awarded me with financial aid in grants or scholarships. This has shattered me to pieces.
All my life I was raised in a single parent home, where my mother worked for the airlines, so was always on the go. Because of this by age 5, I moved to Jamaica to live with my 75 year old grandmother. From a family of very little, my mother raised the bar for herself to become an independent, middle class single parent who wanted to give her kids a better opportunity in life. In order for that to happen, she had to make the sacrifice of giving up the time to raise her own child that she could give me those opportunities and save money for my college fund. The situation molded me though, I grew up as an independent and self driven child, who was the mother and father for myself;because unfortunately, due to my grandmother's age there was little but so much she could help me do. 6 am you could always find me in the library reading encyclopedias for a project, or reciting with Sister Angeline for the National Debate team Competition, if not there on the stairs of my veranda practicing for the spelling bee competition. From a small age, I always had goals for myself as well as dreams and aspirations. Cooking, cleaning and washing were never apart of those dreams, I wanted to be the first woman in the family to attend college, the one to set a new path.
By 2009, things took a turn for me. After 2 years of travelling state to state to find out what was wrong, a doctor was finally able to diagnose me with a rare form of Synovial Sarcoma(cancer). My left leg was to be amputated, but luckily my doctors attempted a successful test trial on me of reconstructing my left leg. I was out of school for months,as well as my mom took off work for months. My entire college fund was gone. I was content with everything that happened, I always just kept looking forward to how I could move on to still reach those dreams. I went to therapy, learnt to walk again and gained back movement in my right arm as it was the resource they used to reconstruct my foot.
My next goal was to attend school in the states, that I would be a step closer to college and able to get financial aid. So I applied away and was accepted to Darrow School on a great scholarship! That same year though, my grandmother was staying with my aunt in Atlanta for 3 months, so I was home alone. The end of the school year, I was then told she was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer, and by the time I flew up she passed away two days after. The person who was my best friend and who raised me was now gone and between the two of us my mother was now in debt with Medical bills. It was a rough year for me, and made entering a new school even harder for me but I still kept focused because I knew I had a dream to reach. I worked earnestly in classes, participated in two sports, an active memeber of student government, teach spanish at Mountain Road elementary school once a week and took two college courses at Northeastern University over the summer. I did everything possible to make sure I could reach this lifetime goal I had set for myself, to make sure that not only could i get in but that schools would want me enough to give me aid. I suppose I thought wrong.
I received no aid from any schools, and heard the most saddening words from my mother "Maybe you should let your pride go, and not go to college or attend community college because we don't have it". These words broke my heart. I called the colleges and each of them told me either there is nothing we are able to give you or your mom makes too much for you to receive financial aid. The ending statement has puzzled me quite a lot as I have explained to them she is completely a single parent of two children, someone who was in debt due to medical bills and that she makes $60'000 annually, which already goes towards paying off debt. They still said there is nothing they can do. Still determined to pursue that dream, here I am telling my story; hoping you can get to know me from it and hopefully willing to help me in pursuing this dream. That I may attend Michigan State University, to become a forensic psychologist without $170k as my debt when I graduate and that I am able to enter as a freshman. I know sacrifices have to be made to achieve in life, so I am willing to pull out a $20000 loan each year but to get help with the beginning $22'000 would help me pay for room & board, textbooks and a part of the tuition that I can become a "Spartan" and that I may enter the doors of college.
Thank You very much, if you even took the time to read this