Help send Michelle to college!

I need to raise $4,000 to cover the remainding balance for Calvin College. You can read my story below to know more about me and why I'm unable to provide the money.

At the age of thirteen I was forced to transition from a child to an adult. I was raised in a home where physical, verbal, and sexual abuse regularly occurred. My father physically abused my mother and sisters and he sexually abused me for four years. When I was thirteen years old, my mother finally escaped the situation but left me and my sisters behind. Shortly after, I broke free and moved in with my older sister. While my circumstances improved, my life has remained in a constant state of instability. Just a few years older than me, my sister could not take care of me in a responsible manner. Everyday I worried about where my next meal would come from or where I was going to sleep. For these reasons, I have worked to become independent financially, socially, and academically.

In October 2012, I finally spoke up about the abuse and contacted law enforcement. It was difficult keep my focus on school while the police conducted their investigations and I tried to support myself. But I refused to allow what was occurring outside of the classroom to affect my education. By this point, I had been accepted to a “Selective Enrollment” high school, a significant accomplishment for a Chicago Public School student. I made my studies at George Westinghouse College Prep my number one priority and have excelled academically. This effort has resulted in my membership in the National Honor Society at Westinghouse and the Spanish Honor Society.

As a high school student, I have also developed a greater sense of purpose in community involvement. In Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, I worked on a grassroots project of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center that seeks to address underage drinking. For this campaign, I have helped organize educational events and meetings. I have also participated in community service projects sponsored by Northwestern University and have volunteered and worked in a human rights campaign, a STD education and prevention program, an after-school tutoring program, and have supported efforts to enroll residents in the Affordable Care Act. In the midst of working in the Humboldt Park community, I was exposed to many issues relevant to today’s society, aside from my own.

I am proud that I have exceeded the stereotypes and low expectations of someone with my upbringing. Despite all the hardships I have faced, I have become, in my opinion, a well-rounded and caring person. I have an insatiable and inquisitive mind that awaits the opportunity to pursue my bachelor’s degree. My childhood and high school experiences have created a deep desire within me to help other children. No one’s childhood should be robbed like my was. College, my next step forward, will help me grow and equip me with the skills and knowledge I need to become a professional advocate for children.

Donations ()

  • Jennifer Jones 
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 45 mos
  • Shalom Parker 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
  • Briana Reynolds 
    • $10 
    • 45 mos
  • Katherine Davies  
    • $75 
    • 45 mos
See all


Michelle Guzman 
Chicago, IL
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