Center for Student Opportunity has provided me with a gift that is irreplaceable, my education. Growing up in a home situation that was often tumultuous, I used my education as a means of coping. I always knew that education was the one thing nobody could ever take away from me. When I wanted to escape my surroundings, I sought to learn everything that I possibly could by pouring my focus into my books and school work. When I applied to college I was excited at the prospect of attending an elite institution and traveling thousands of miles from home to finally be on my own and make something of myself, yet I didn’t realize the financial struggle that I would face in being able to afford such an education. When I finally had enough scholarships to defray some of the costs along with my work study position, I thought my worries were over. Yet, I never pictured how I was going to afford to travel to college and actually get there my first year.

CSO called me for my interview at a time when I was trying to raise enough money to get my father and me to Williams for freshman orientation. As a first generation college student, I really wanted my dad to experience my first days with me. I was also scared in many ways to finally be on my own, and I truly needed support. CSO made it possible for both my father and me to travel to Williams and share an experience that I will never forget. My dad was so proud of me for making it to Williams, and I was proud of myself.

As one of the first selected bloggers for CSO, it will always have a special place in my heart, especially because it’s helped me grow as a mentor, writer, and overall individual. Blogging through CSO has enabled me to reach out to other students who are in the same position that I was once in. In this way, CSO is not only about me, or how it’s helped me financially, but it’s also about sharing stories, honest advice, and support for other first generation college students. Not only has CSO enabled me to travel to school and back home for holidays, it has allowed me to purchase some of my textbooks each semester.

Education is a priceless gift and CSO has allowed me to grow both personally and academically, while teaching me the importance of giving back to others. Please support CSO, because when you do so, you support a student such as myself. We scholars are the future of society, and there is no better investment than one in America’s future.

Please donate to Center for Student Opportunity this holiday season and help underserved, first-generation college-bound students in their pursuit of college.