My name is Persephone Ross and I am a fourteen-year-old from Chicago, Illinois. I am writing because I would love your support in helping make a dream of lifetime come true: I've been selected to represent the United States at the World Karate Confederation's International Championships for Cadets, Juniors and Seniors in Munich, Germany in January, 2014 (yes, next month).
This has been a dream of mine since I started competing in karate. I always knew that once you got there all your hard work was recognized. Getting there was tough so I trained and was focused till I accomplished what I set out to, receiving a letter saying I was one of the few athletes chosen to be on the United States National karate team. There's just one obstacle in my way: The cost. The trip "“ including airfare, lodging, food, and event expenses is very costly. Unfortunately, no financial aid is available to first-time U.S. National karate team athletes, which makes it more difficult since I live in a single parent household and my mom has to work very hard to make sure I have what I need on a day to day basis. She works extra hours to make sure I can partake in karate and karate tournaments.
I started taking karate back in 2007, when I was seven, at GoTime, a local boxing and karate training center. There I met Sensei Ricky Spritz, who has helped shape me into the athlete I am today , and I have continued my studies under him since. I am very devoted to karate and typically train about 8- 11 hours a week "“ two to four days at GoTime and every day at home. I am now third kue brown belt and have one more belt until I reach my goal of being a black belt.
I participate in tournaments whenever I can "“ and have earned many medals in a number of my event. Skipping the beginner division, I went straight to novice my first year, and advanced one division every year except intermediate, where I stood for two years. I was in for a huge shock when I entered my first year in the advanced division this year. Upon starting the advanced division, the competition was ten times as difficult than it had been in the past. My opponents were much more experienced than my previous competitors and very skilled at what they did. I saw this as a big shock and knew I just had to train twice as hard and be as devoted as possible. Last summer I won a silver medal in kumite at the Aau Karate Nationals "“ and that performance put me in the national team pool. At the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Detroit in August, I tried out to be on the United State National karate team. In October I was notified that I was selected to be one of the athletes to represent the United States at the World Karate Confederation's International Championships in Munich (and the World Championships in Argentina in October, 2014, which is where the other $4,000 comes into play). Now I know and feel this is most definitely a reality!
Thank you in advance for your support, time and possible contributions.
*Special thanks to Focus and Shut Up for their time and wonderful video!