Hello and Happy New Year y’all!! It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, and I just wanted to send out an update and another thank you! The money that was given not only put me through last year, but coupled with the money I made over the summer and the school year, and my dad’s first paycheck from his new job (yes he finally got a job, yay!!!), it helped me get through this last semester as well. Everything worked out perfectly according to God’s timing nd I am so thankful for that because the more time I spend at school, the more I fall in love with Vanderbilt. So again, thank you very much for the incredible generosity you all showed me over a year ago. A lot of the time, when I walk through campus on a beautiful day, or I’m up late studying with some of my best friends, I think about how amazing that day was and how happy I am to be able to continue at the best school in the world, all thanks to you all. I will never forget it and I will always be thankful!
I thought I’d share a little bit of what I’ve been up to and what I’m involved in as well, for those of you who are interested. I am now through my fifth semester of majoring in Biomedical Engineering and I am still enjoying what I am learning, even though it is the very opposite of easy a lot of the time. I am also minoring in Engineering Management in the hopes of taking my BME major in more of a corporate direction instead of a research-oriented one. This past semester was the hardest yet, and I expect the next one will be about the same. I am particularly excited for next semester because I will be taking an elective for my major that involves a service trip to Guatemala for Spring Break! We will be learning how to build and fix medical equipment, and will make instructional videos in Spanish for the people in Guatemala to keep after we leave. I can’t wait to see Guatemala and use what I’ve learned to help the people who live there. Otherwise, I am actively involved in a campus ministry group on campus called The Navigators, and I couldn’t be more thankful to have such wonderful fellowship. I am also a member of Engineers Without Borders, Society of Women Engineers, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. I also play on the Vanderbilt Women’s Club Soccer Team, and I love every minute of it. We travel and play soccer competitively against other universities, and in October we traveled to Gainesville for the Regional Tournament where we lost in the semifinals. I work at the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center where I am a student supervisor. It’s a good campus job to have and I plan on working there next semester and during my senior year as well. All of the money I make there, as well as the money I make over the summer, is saved as much as possible to contribute to keeping me at Vanderbilt. Most of the rest of my free time is spent studying or doing homework, but I still find time to see Nashville with my friends and attend as many Vanderbilt games as possible. If you have watched any football or basketball games, you’ve probably seen me in the front row, Anchoring Down! It’s one of my favorite things to do. Go Dores!! The experiences I have had, and will continue to have, and the relationships I’ve formed because of Vanderbilt, are some of the best of my life and I am incredibly thankful to all of you for making it possible! I hope 2016 treats all of you well!
I just thought all of you wonderful people deserved an update, so here I am! This was a week where I didn't have an exam, and believe me when I say those do not come around often, so I had a lot of time to reflect on my semester so far. It has been beyond amazing, to say the least, and I owe every day of it to you all! Classes are extremely interesting and I'm excited to start concentrating on my major rather than general courses. And of course, the community here is as wonderful as ever. I'm enjoying my job at the rec center and the responsibilities it comes with. I still manage to have fun though and am proud to say I made it to quite a few football games (I even saw 2 out of our three wins! WOO!), and can't wait for basketball games, and then of course watching our national champs in the spring. Club involvement has been going well, and I hope to be able to dedicate more time to the children in an after school program organized by Harvest Hands once my schedule allows it next semester. All in all, I'm trying to make the best of my time here! These last three months have been nothing short of a blessing, and I am grateful every day for the generosity I was shown by all of you! Happy almost Thanksgiving (ok it's 20 days away, but us students are counting down the minutes!) and Anchor Down!!
Seeing as today marks one year since my mom has been gone, I thought it would be appropriate to thank you all again from the bottom of my heart. Today was of course very difficult, but I cannot thank you enough for gifting me with the blessing of having another year at Vanderbilt to look forward to! It is such a beautiful gift on this day and I can't help but be thankful. Also, one of the number one questions that I keep receiving is "what are you going to do with the extra money?" There was never any hesitation in knowing that it would all be going towards the next three years at Vandy, instead of solely this year. Again, thank you very much, and it's all of YOU who are inspiring to ME!
I just wanted to say, again, thank you so much for the continued support! The words of support and kindness I am getting are truly amazing and I appreciate them all! It's amazing what a few kind words can do and I am grateful from the bottom of my heart to you all!
Hello again to everyone! I just want to start out by saying that this idea was really just a shot in the dark. I had absolutely no idea that there would be this kind of a response, and I am still shell shocked. I am so thankful to each and every one of you and so proud to be part of the Vanderbilt community. I have noticed that a lot of people have been asking questions and I just thought that I owe it to all of you to try and explain a bit further. My mom was unemployed, and since she had residential custody, her income was the one used for the first year. Of course for this year, my dad's was used. He had a job in 2013, but he lost his job in 2014. The financial information for 2013 was used for this coming aid year. We had expected my aid to change for this year, due to the change in income, but we were surprised at how much it changed, and with my dad losing his job, we were just completely unprepared. We calculated everything after factoring in what I personally would be able to contribute from working, as well as what my parents would be able to contribute. After we played with numbers and loans and everything like that, we came up with about $25,000 left that still had to be found and there was so little time to make it happen. This was a last ditch effort and like I said, I never expected such a response. I really did not intend in any way to make Vandy's financial aid office look bad, and they have since reached out to me. I hope these are enough details. Regardless, I am so blessed, amazed, and grateful to each and every one of you for supporting me and allowing me to continue at this wonderful institution. Thank you so so so much. I promise you that I will work hard, and I will be paying it forward in the future.
WOW. I am so overwhelmed right now by all of this support. You are all going so far above and beyond my expectations, and then some! We did it!! You have all made this a possibility for me. I will be able to stay at the school of my dreams and I couldn't begin to tell you how much it means to me. I am going to work on getting back to a lot of you personally, but it just seems like such a small part of the thankfulness I am feeling right now. The goal has been reached! Any continued donations will be but in the bank for the coming years at this wonderful institution with this wonderful community, but of course I do not expect anything as you have all gone SO FAR beyond my wildest dreams right now. I am literally rendered speechless at this point and just keep repeating "What just happened?" But really I know what happened. Some AMAZING people and an AMAZING community came forward and really gave me something to be happy about and I am eternally and ridiculously thankful.
Wow. Just, wow. I can't even begin to express the feelings that I am having right now. I went to work this morning and had $6500, and to get home and see what I'm seeing is so incredibly amazing. I keep asking myself, how am I supposed to thank all of these people? Words don't seem adequate for this kind of amazing generosity and kindness. But, nevertheless, from the bottom of my heart, and from the hearts of my family, we say thank you. I am feeling so blessed to be a part of this amazing community that is Vanderbilt, and I'm even more grateful than ever that it looks like I will be able to return this year. To all of you alumn and students, thank you for demonstrating the amazing and unique wonder that is Vanderbilt. And to all family, friends, friends of friends, and even strangers, thank you for your amazing generosity, giving me hope, and allowing me to have the chance to succeed at my dreams. There are so many emotions I'm feeling right now. I'm truly amazed. I am determined to make every single one of you proud, appreciate the experiences I am going to have, graduate, and pay it forward the way you amazing people have. And of course thank you to my dad and stepmom for supporting me in this decision and doing everything they can to make sure that I don't have to give up on this dream. Thank you. God is good and ANCHOR DOWN.
Thank you all so much for so much support already! I am so grateful. I just wanted to say that leaving your name is helpful (although of course not required) because if this is unsuccessful or another method is found I would like to be able to return the donations. Thank you again, you're all amazing.
My name is Cassie, I am nineteen and I am a student at Vanderbilt University. I worked extremely hard in high school and since Vanderbilt only had a 12 percent acceptance rate last year I was humbled and thrilled to be accepted.
Unfortunately, just 3 weeks before I started my first year of college my Mom took her own life. It was a difficult year for me but I did my best to persevere. Now with my second year approaching, I just learned three days ago that without my Mom having residential custody, I no longer am going to get any financial aid.
Even with my college fund, my summer work savings, a scholarship and a student loan, I am still short $24,000 for this year’s tuition. To make things worse, my father has been unemployed for months now and has no immediate job prospects.
It is extremely difficult for me to request help, but more bearable than the thought of losing a dream I worked and continue to work so hard for. I am majoring in Biomedical Engineering in the hopes of contributing to major medical advancements. I will be eternally grateful if through your contributions I can still make this happen. I’m praying daily for a miracle.
Thankful to hear how the Lord has abundantly blessed you. May you know "how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ Jesus which passes knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God". Ephesians 3:18-19