Dreams do come true

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I'm so proud to be a part of the SJU class of 2024.

Imagine this: After months of searching for the perfect college, you find an incredible university that has everything you could ever want and more. It has the exact major you want, the campus is beautiful, and the energy there feels like home. You spend the next two years working towards getting into this school, praying each and every day that this dream will become a reality. 

Now, imagine this: Not only do you get accepted, you get your entire four year tuition and room & board paid for. 

Although that sounds like a scene from a super unrealistic high school movie, that exact situation happened to me on February 11, 2020.

From the day I set foot on campus, I knew that Saint Joseph’s University was the place I wanted to be. As an aspiring high school English teacher, one of the first things that drew me to the college was their incredible and highly acclaimed teaching program. I could go on and on about the various features that attracted me to the school, but that isn’t the main message I’m trying to convey here.

Without sounding too corny, this experience really made me believe that dreams do come true. 

When I was 4, I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. I won’t go into the entire story, as I wrote an article about it in October. To make a long story short, it was a really tough time in my life, and I honestly thought that the fact that I came out alive was the biggest blessing I would experience.

Thanks to the Eagles Fly for Leukemia scholarship, however, I was proven wrong. If you would have talked to me a few years ago, I never would have thought that something so somber could end up paving the way to one of the happiest moments of my life. I’ve never been more excited about my future than I am right now.

I do want to make it clear that having an illness isn’t a pass to free college. This specific scholarship required a stellar essay about my experience and my character, along with a myriad of other essays, letters of recommendation, extra-curriculars, and good grades that came along with applying to the school. It takes a lot of work to apply to college and build an acceptable resume, things that make you a valuable asset to an educational institution. Never stop hustling in school and putting your best foot forward – hard work, persistence, and talent will take you to some amazing places.

Now, although you may be in a really dark situation right now, I promise you that it’s going to be okay in the end. It may be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but no tunnel lasts forever, and every day is a step closer to getting through to the other side. Even though I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason, because that implies that these traumatic experiences have happened to you on purpose, I do believe that you can extract something positive out of every negative. Even the most sour of lemons can make the sweetest lemonade. And if you don’t like lemonade, even the bitterest coffee beans can make the most delicious cup of coffee that you’ve ever had.