I'm a survivor, but I need help

Hi, my name’s Alyssa, and like many kids now of days, I’m struggling to afford college. I’m a very independent person and have tried all I can to receive financial aid, scholarships, grants, and loans. However, I’m running out of options and money is due soon. The problem with receiving financial aid and loans is they look at your “stats” (so to speak), not your “story”. I am in need of financial help, even though my family looks well off. That is why I’m making this page. I want to share my story with you and ask you to share with others to help in whatever way possible.

Only a select few people know that I am a recovering bulimic and sexual abuse survivor. I used to want to keep it a secret because of the reaction I’d receive when telling people. My story starts at the age of two; that was when my father first started molesting me. The abuse last until I was nine, but I didn’t speak up about it until years later. Between the time the abuse stopped and I finally spoke up, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It caused her to lose her job and then our home. We’ve been struggling financially ever since. When I was thirteen, I finally told my mother about the abuse. I now have no contact with my father, but the damage he caused still ails me.

In a matter of a couple months: I stopped seeing my father, started to fall into a depression, lost my home and had to moved to a different state, and started high school. I took to self harm and developed an eating disorder to cope with everything going on. After a few years of trying to recover from my mom being sick, I tried to kill myself and was hospitalized. This cost us thousands.

In the past two years since my release, I’ve been doing a lot to try and recover. I’ve come a long way since then. They say the past defines us, and while that may be true, I refuse to let mine limit me. I’ve worked hard to help support and make something of myself. I have been accepted into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and plan to make a future in acting and public speaking. I’ve received aid for about 16,000 and that has helped me greatly, but I still need to come up with the other $15,000 for tuition and money for rent and food. I’ve applied and been denied for loans because they only see me as a low credit score. And scholarship applications see me as GPA.

I am more than just numbers. I am a survivor and a fighter. I have an ambition and I know I will achieve something great one day. I want to prove that, but I wouldn’t be able to do so without some help. So please, donate whatever you can; and if you can’t donate anything, share this. Even the smallest gesture will make a huge different. Thank you.
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Alyssa MacKinnon 
Camillus, NY
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