Dear friends and family:
My name is Hal McKinley and this Fall, I will be a rising Senior Business Management Major hailing from Murrieta, California. I first want to say thank you to those individuals who have played a role in teaching, leading, and supporting me throughout my collegiate tenure.
I am glad to share with you the great news that I have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. I plan to enroll in 6 credit hours of coursework during the Summer Semester of 2014 at Universidad Antonio de Nebrija in Madrid, Spain.
The Gilman Scholarship has brought me a unique opportunity to broaden my horizons as I submerge myself into Spanish culture. As a student in Hampton University's School of Business, I know that a global perspective can open up many new doors for my future as the world becomes smaller and more globalized. As a first-generation college student and role model in my community, this summer program would not only benefit me. When my younger siblings, friends, and family see all the blessings that came along with my college experience, it will raise the standard for those younger than me, especially as a man of color. Everyone has been told that anything is possible, but it is often difficult to see the possibilities when young people like me didn't grow up seeing those that look like them going to college without a football or basketball scholarship. I had never even met a black doctor until I went to Hampton University. Therefore, studying abroad was at one point very distant from my beliefs, but when my brothers and sisters in the Inland Empire see what I have done, they will know what is possible and I can show them the route to get there.
Although my scholarship is supporting the majority of my summer abroad, I still have not reached the amount of funding that I need to take part in this summer abroad program and return to Hampton University this Fall Semester for my senior year. If I am unable to earn enough money for Hampton University, I will have to decline my Gilman Scholarship to study abroad this summer. I am currently working very hard to acquire all that I need in order to make this happen through working and fundraising with the support of my peers, but I am currently in need of financial support. I am asking for monetary donations to help me reach my goal of $5000. With your help, I will be able to broaden my educational goals on a global scale and return to Hampton University to stride into my current graduation date of May 2015.
Thank you very much for your great support. http://www.gofundme.com/8ol8m0
Throughout my past 3 years at the illustrious Hampton University, I have grown and developed as a stronger and more punctual leader of men. I have had the opportunity to accomplish more goals than I ever imagined in such a short amount of time.
I took a leap of faith by enrolling at Hampton University for the Fall of 2011 during a time of great financial need, but I was not going to allow my finances to stop me from graduating from my "Home By The Sea." During my Senior year of high school and throughout the summer of 2011, I split my time as a two-sport student-athlete in high school with applying for scholarships, working in construction temporarily, cutting hair, cutting grass, washing cars, as well as selling refreshments and apparel throughout my high school to start funding the expenses of my education. I was awarded a few scholarships coming from the NAACP and from the Murrieta Valley School District for competing as a contestant in Vista Murrieta's Senior Male Pageant "Mr. Bronco."
When I finally stepped onto Hampton University's campus, I hit the ground running by placing my business cards under the doors of every male dorm room and began cutting hair for free during my first week in school to meet students. I began to build a steady cliental from my campus barber business. Along with my trade, I picked up a second job at Tropical Smoothie CafÃ© and that was all just the beginning.
Since then, I have continued my business which has extended out to the Hampton Roads Community. I have had the opportunity to use my talents to give back to the Hampton Roads community by collecting winter apparel and non-perishable food items in exchange for free haircuts to donors through my annual "Cuts for Coats Winter Drive." With all of my work, I still have made an effort to make an impact as an active Hampton University student through leading as the President of the Far West Pre-Alumni Council. Through my role, I connected undergraduate students at Hampton University for the benefit of networking with current students and alumni. As a result of this, many students have gained access to scholarships and jobs through Hampton Alumni and through their involvement with the Pre-Alumni Council. I have also created the "Inland Empire to Hampton Pipeline" in which I have made an effort to help students from Murrieta, California earn scholarships to Hampton University.
I have completed many community service projects with my peers and a few mentors including the World Changers Mission Trip in which I helped rebuild the homes of low income families in Clovis, California with Mountain View Community Church. Through the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Program and the Men's Caucus of Hampton, I tutored and mentored young men from Hines Middle School and Jones Magnet Middle School along with a group of 15 male leaders on Hampton University's campus. We created lesson plans to build brotherhood and teach young men the staples of manhood such as responsibility, trustworthiness, and respect for all people.
As I continue to move forward in to my senior year this fall, I just thank God for the people placed in my life, the trials he has challenged me with, and the places he has taken me. Thank you very much for your support for me as I plan to take this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Rising Senior Business Management Major, Finance Concentration
Hampton University C/o Spring 2015
Murrieta, CA 92562
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