Road To Chelby's College Graduation

I walked through the gates of Spelman College in August of 2010 as a Freshman and today, I walk through those same gates as a second semester SENIOR on the road to graduation. After being forced to move off campus for financial reasons my sophomore year, I had to commute to campus everyday taking 2 public buses, 1 train, and 1 shuttle. I woke up nearly 4 hours ahead of the start of my first class to assure I made it to campus on time. Many of my peers would say, "I don't see how you do it. I couldn't do that everyday." My response was always, "I have to do, what I have to do. If you wanted it bad enough, you would do just as I am doing." I never let my struggle discourage me; I chose to let it motivate me to keep pushing. I began course overloading taking 20 hours per semester my entire sophomore year. For that reason, I am now in a position to graduate a semester ahead of my class. However, with a tuition over $40,000 a year, Spelman has really drained my pockets dry. Now as a Senior on the road to graduation, I have an outstanding balance of $2,500 that must be paid prior to my departure. The deadline is December 12, 2013. Which is my last day of finals.

Many people love the idea of my illustrious institution, but for many of us Spelman Women, our education puts a financial strain on both us and our families. When I was in the third grade, I made the decision that Spelman College was the only place for me. At the age of 8, my dreams of a college education was set firmly into place. God, had a plan for me and that plan was to attend the school of my dreams. Over the years, God pushed me to reach my fullest potential so that I could obtain the dream I had for myself, but most importantly so that I could step foot in the place he planned for my journey to begin.

My ultimate goal is become a Juvenile Judge and transform the justice system for our youth. Too many kids get into the habit of living troubled lives while they're young and it carries over into their adulthood because most of them feel like they won't have a second chance. I refuse to let that determine their futures, I refuse to let that deter the plans that God had in store for them. God has placed me on this earth to serve and that is what I am here to do. My life is not my own and I know that. God has a calling on my life & he placed me here to do great things. Children need me, the future youth need me. I'm here to give them a fresh start and push them to break those cycles that have kept our young men and women in bondage for so long. A man by the name of Joseph Solomon once said, "The essence of grace is that there is nothing we can do to earn it. God knows we don't deserve it, but feels that you are worth it. Child you are forgiven and loved." When God is for you, no one can be against you.

It amazes me how much I am loved. I know that God loves me because he always has my back. Now as a graduating senior, I know that upon my graduation it will be my time to give back to those who need me twice over. Pastor Joel Osteen once said, "When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance." So I ask that those of you who believe in both me and my dreams, help by helping me close this chapter of my journey so that I can begin the next chapter of my life serving others.

God Bless,
Chelby T. Handy
Graduating Senior c/o 2014
Political Science Major
Pre-Law Concentration
"Until God opens the next door, praise him in the hallway." " 
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Chelby Theresa Handy 
Atlanta, GA
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