There is nothing more inspiring to me than someone with passion. Someone who hustles to make something from nothing. Someone who believes so deeply in their dreams that they find a way to make it happen, despite huge obstacles they may face.
This is the inspiration behind Compliment. It began as a fundraising effort for scholarships for my own students--young women who dared to dream big and who had the faith and courage to pursue life in order to make their mark on the world, but just kept coming up short financially.
No student should ever be kept from an education because of finances.
After all, education changes people. And people change the world.
So it is with great pleasure and pride that I introduce to you the winners of our 4th annual Compliment Scholarship:
Casa Roble High School AVID
California State University, Sacramento
From Katie's application:
"Throughout these past few years, I've been told going to a four-year university out of high school is a bad decision. I was told it couldn't happen and that I should give up my dream. I was raised by a single mother. She struggled to make ends meet and lived paycheck to paycheck. My mother was not able to put money away for my college education. Although she is now re-married, my mom and step-dad still don’t own a home and struggle to provide for my four siblings and myself with everything we need. My teacher advised me to apply to any outside aid I could in order to afford my freshman year of college. This scholarship is helping me pay for my first semester's tuition. I want to study biology in the fall in order and eventually go to medical school to become a dermatologist. When I was younger, I struggled with insecurities about my skin. My doctor was so good about helping me overcome those insecurities. I want to be able to treat the skin issues my patients and help encourage them to overcome their own insecurities."
Bella Vista High School AVID
California State University, Sacramento
From Hannah's application:
"I am an urban hip hop dancer and am studying to become a DJ. When I teach dance I go to areas where the kids don’t have everything that they deserve. It gives me a chance to touch peoples lives and it gives the students hope and something to work towards. I can dance and pull off what most people can’t. I love diversity. I have always wanted to something different with my life and something that most females don’t do--you don't see many caucasian female DJs. I believe that anybody who works hard for what is in their heart will get it. I believe we are all here for a reason and that we need each other. We all have something to bring to the table. When I am in the music industry, I want to make a statement of how hip hop artists talk about women in their songs. If someone wants to buy my beat, then they can’t refer to women as “b-words” in their lyrics. It seems impossible now, but I know it will work. In the future, I want people to ask me about how I made a difference, so I can say “God did this for me.” I know I can be a world-changer."
Edison High School AVID
University of the Pacific
From Lupita's application:
"When I look at myself in the mirror I see a determined individual. I am a fighter; I give the most of me on everything I do. I am very self-motivated because I want to be someone of significance, and not just a number. I want to show others that anything is possible. My goal is to become an elementary teacher and find resources to help students and lead them towards success. My family's financial situation is very poor due to the lack of their education. Both of my parents only went to elementary school therefore they can't find a good job. They both work in the fields season after season. There are times when we don't have enough food so we have to go some days without eating. Not only am I willing to pursue a higher education to help my self but to help my family and thank them for everything they have done for me and motivating me to get this far. I want to be an example for others. I want them to know that even coming from a low-income family I still managed to attend college. Once I have a profession I will raise funds to open a teen center where teens can come on their spare time. The teen center will prevent students from getting involved in drugs and violence. I want to prepare our teens for higher education because they will be our future professionals."
Please help me in congratulating these amazing young women.
And to every one of you who has purchased, donated, shared, and supported Compliment's mission in giving back to our girls over the last few years, thank you. My deepest gratitude goes to you. Our ability to give and impact young lives grows each day. Together we are making a difference. We truly rise by lifting others.