I am currently attending Delta High School and will graduate in June. My story is probably different than most that you read. I currently live in a Group Home for teenage girls called Changing Faces. I came to Changing Faces in January of 2003 with a total of 70 credits. Prior to arriving at Changing Faces I had been left to raise myself in Santa Barbara. My mother had chosen a life of drugs and basically forgot she had responsibilities. I didn’t attend school regularly when I was on my own just due to no one pushing me to go.
A year and a half later I have pulled it together and now look forward to moving out on my own after graduation. My educational goals are to attend Hancock Junior College in the fall where I am already registered for classes. I would like to transfer to San Diego State University after 2 years. My subject of study is Nursing. If I was to receive a scholarship, it would be used to help me pay for the expenses of attending college. I have no family support at all. I don’t even know who my father is. As I stated before my mother has abandoned her responsibilities as a mother and for that I have realized it is completely up to me to reach my goals which I intend to do.
I recently received a principal award from Delta and also was acknowledged at your banquet last Wednesday for Honor Roll. Right now I don’t have too much hobbies, except work. I work full time at Payless Shoes, saving money.
Since my time at Changing Faces I have been involved in different community events. I helped at the most recent FOP BBQ fundraiser for Stephanie Snow, I also participated in the Heart Walk in 2004, along with serving meals at the local homeless shelter.
My future plans are to move out in June. After I graduate high school my case will close and I will have to leave Changing Faces. I am trying to prepare myself with the help of Changing Faces to be financially and emotionally ready to leave. I would like to one day get my nursing degree and work as a Registered Nurse. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for this scholarship.
When I was first interviewed, to be placed with Changing Faces, I was balling my eyes out. The thought of even being in a group home horrified me. I wanted to be with my family no matter how bad our past had been. I loved them and only wanted to be with them. But the judge wasn’t ready for that, so he sent me to Changing Faces.
I remember the day my social worker picked me up from juvenile hall and dropped me off at the group home. I felt like an abandoned puppy just left with out anybody. The first few weeks were hard, and I cried alot. I missed my friends and family, but I knew I had to follow through with the rules because I was put on probation. I didn’t want to mess up and go back to juvenile hall. At that point my thoughts were to do well for six months, get off of probation, and then return home.
The day came and I wasn’t perfect the whole time. I had a few bumps in the road, but I turned 18 and was taken off of probation. Surprisingly I wasn’t ready to leave. My feelings were mixed, I wanted to be with my family, and be free of CWS. On the other hand I wanted to be independent and I was scared, confused and a little lost. I decided to stay. I was working at an elementary school and at Taco Bell, but I made some wrong decisions and lost both of my jobs.
I ran away from the group home when I was 18 and I felt that it was a very dumb decision. While I was out back in my party mode for that little bit of time I realized all my friends were all doing the same thing, they were doing before I left. That was not the life I wanted to live forever. I want to do something with my life, and be somebody. Not party forever and be another low life. I asked to return to the group home, get back on track, and thankfully they let me.
Since being placed with Changing Faces and Agape Homes I have learned to control my alcoholism and most importantly accept it. I have developed a relationship with my mother that can never be torn apart or taken away from me. She is my best friend, my only real friend and a great mother. I have never loved anybody in my life as much as I love her. I have made my amends to my sister, a person I thought I would have never said sorry to. This took a lot from me but since I had a great counselor to help me though it all I accomplished this. I have made some real friends, ones I can depend on and talk to about anything. I have spent my holidays sober, with sober friends, something I haven’t done since I was 12. To my old friends they may think that is dumb or boring but to me it was fun and I will remember those ones forever. I attended a weekend in Ventura through Independent Living Program, in which I learned a lot about computers, and had fun doing it. I went home with a brand new laptop and a printer.
My most memorable opportunity I had and indeed took was when I went to Washington D.C. and met people from all over the U.S. and from Puerto Rico. I had so much fun and learned so much during the conferences I attended at the Nation Institute of Health. I have received my driving permit and have a goal to accomplish by February 14th to get my license. I also completed drivers training thanks to Changing Faces. I an going to graduate from high school and continue my education in college. This is something I have always dreamed of but never really believed I would do it. Now my goals for my “Adult Life” are to keep my job, that’s priority, find a place for me to live, be able to budget my money to go to college and survive.
Whether I am going to stay in Lompoc or go back to Santa Maria is up to my job. I want to be independent, and don’t want to have to rely on anyone but myself. This scholarship would help me do just that. If I received this scholarship the money would be spent on all my schoolbooks, my living expenses, and all the supplies I will need for school. I need this scholarship to help me afford to go to college and transition out into the real world by myself. I have depended on other people all my life and now it is time to depend on myself, but a little help wouldn’t hurt to make my “new life” a success.
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