From Ivy Tech to Ivy League

Last year, I was accepted into the University of Pennsylvania. This changed everything. My goals became more agressive, more serious, more focused. I now had more than blind faith that my family would live a life above the bare essentials. This campaign is about making that dream come true.  I am raising money to to support my family through this return to full time studies at one of our nation's most prestigious educational institutions. Though, my journey to the Ivy League may seem unique I want to prove that with the sopport of a strong network, it is extremely doable for people who come from where I am from.

My Story
In high school I barely was a B student. I became so disenchanted with the educational environment that I wondered if I had the motivation to finish high school.

After graduating, I pursued music with school completely in my rear view mirror. Nothing has impacted my adult life more than my decision to pursue my hip hop dreams instead of college. I tell all about this in a speech I delivered to State Farm's Student Success Summit . Ten years after making this decision I was struggling to take care of my family of 6 and wishing I had a degree. However, basic needs: rent, food, gas, and diapers, etc., meant that school was not an option unless it was bringing money into the home. The choice seemed like a no-brainer; forget school and look for a good paying job. even though it seemed like a long shot, I was determined to find a way to go to school and bring money into the home at the same time. When I enrolled at Ivy Tech Community College, I found out that the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholarship allow me to do just that.

Ivy Tech To Acceptance into an Ivy League College?

My first and only goal during the first semester of school at Ivy Tech was to do well enough not to flunk out. That was it. However, after earning a 4.0 for 3 semesters in a row, I began to see that I had much more to accomplish in academia... What if I could keep earning these kind of grades? Are there honor societies for community college students? What schools scout high performing community college students?

What I quickly learned was that my success in the classroom was about to open some very interesting doors. Because of my success, I began to be introduced to executive level leadership at my school, received an invitation from the largest academic honor society in the world, and received all types of solicitations from schools. Some of the messages had direct scholarship offers of up to $40,000. I received mail from Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago and many, many more. Overall, I received more than 400 invitations to apply from colleges and universities by mail, email, and sometimes telephone.

Why am I raising funds?

I need help! I moved my wife and four kids across the country to a pursue an Ivy League Education. Along with the expenses that we incurred with the move, we quickly learned that living on the east coast can cost almost double what life costs in the midwest.

Help me raise $30,000 to support my family as I pursue full time studies at Penn.

If you would like to be apart of this great endeavor, here are 3 ways to help:

1. Give a gift: Donate HERE Today
2. Share the link with your social network on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
3. Host a party: (This is a great way to support if you have a strong network of possible supporters. You invite the people. I share my story. I make the appeal. We reach the goal!)

If you can think of another way to support, I am very interested in hearing your ideas.

Thank you again for helping me pursue this excellent opportunity at University of Pennsylvania.

Thanks,

Casey Bridgeford
[phone redacted]

----------------- Bio
Casey Bridgeford is an award-winning American hip hop artist and community builder. Artistically known as "iLL Holiday"; his music drives listeners to live positive lifestyles. He also writes for a blog (www.illholiday.com) where he shares new music, fashion, and culture from around the globe.
Casey's community work has allowed him to develop his city's first and only city-wide peace tour and be honored by Citizen's Energy Group as one of its 125 Leaders. He currently works to develop young professionals who are passionate about impacting their community.
Learn more about Casey "iLL Holiday" Bridgeford at the following links:
Casey's TED Talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egXGwITZRAE 
Linkedin:www.linkedin.com/in/caseybridgeford
ILL Holiday Dot Com: www.illholiday.com

Public Allies Blog: http://allies2010.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/guest-blogger-funny-but-sad-but-in-the-end-inspiring/
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Organizer

Oche Bridgeford 
Organizer
Indianapolis, IN
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