I don’t think the terms “college plan” or “college savings” wouldn’t ever have made it into my vocabulary, if it wasn’t for College Dreams. College was something that was expected of me by my family, but I was never given the how-to guide. Neither of my parents attended college, so the realm of financial aid, scholarships, selecting schools, SATs, and college application processes were unfamiliar to them.
In the 6th grade, I was accepted into College Dreams, as well as introduced to my mentor Monet. Words cannot describe how much Monet has changed and influenced my life into the direction of accomplishing my dreams and goals. She met with me weekly to discuss school, grades, life, family, and continue to push me harder to achieve my dreams. Something my parents, were unable to do. I look back on the seven years I was in College Dreams, and I think about how different my life would have been if I hadn’t been in the program. Would I have gone to college, or even graduated high school? Would I know how to fill out forms such as the FAFSA or other scholarship applications? If I did manage to graduate, would I have obtained the funds to be able to attend the college of my choice, and be able to complete my degree? My honest and realistic answer to these questions is a huge probably not.
Fortunately, these questions never had to be asked in the first place. I did graduate from high school, and in June of 2013 I graduated from Southern Oregon University. Monet helped me fill out and qualify for FAFSA funds, as well as receive $20,000 in scholarship funding. College Dreams started helping me plan for my future in the 6th grade! In fact, I finished my first two years of college DEBT FREE! That is something that I know most students cannot say, especially low-income students, such as myself.
I never had a specific dream for my future, but I knew how much I loved Monet and how she changed my life. That love has now turned into a career choice. I am ecstatic to say that I have been a College Dreams employee for almost four years now, helping students achieve their dreams, and I couldn’t be happier!