Hello everyone! My name is Mariana Camacho-Sanchez, I’m a 20 years old singer and violinist and for as long as I can remember music has been my greatest passion. I’ve dedicated my life to this dream, even though the possibility to study my field of music on a professional level is extremely difficult in my country, Venezuela.
However, I was notified of an life altering opportunity; Berklee College of Music, one of the most prestigious music universities in the world, was organizing auditions in my city, Caracas. Without hesitation, I enlisted for auditions and the necessary testings, although I knew the process moving forward would be complicated by foreign exchange proceedings, controlled by my country.
To further clarify, the Venezuelan government has a foreign exchange control, meaning a government authorization is needed if one wants foreign currencies. These requests are generally declined 90% of times, most without justification, and even if the solicitation is approved, one can only withdraw the equivalent to $2,000 per year or $300 once every three months. Despite this being an uphill battle, I was able to get the funds that I needed to apply and audition.
That day I was on edge but I used my faith and hard work to get me through the audition. I waited for what felt like a lifetime but the letter came... and I was invited to attend Berklee College of Music! I worked so hard to be accepted, but I knew my struggle wasn’t over because the financial cost of attending Berklee is more than my family and I can assume.
I took it upon myself to be proactive and I asked for a second audition exclusively for a scholarship, which they allowed and my audition performance landed me a scholarship of $20,000 a year at college, but I still have to pay some costs on the school bill, $27,000 specifically, due before the beginning of my first semester, August 1st; this includes the cost of tuition for the semester, the health insurance, the residence hall and full meal plan for my first year, and the computer required by the undergraduate program.
I initially thought to request for the preferential treatment offered to people planning on going to study outside the country, but it was announced that the government wasn’t going to accept any other applications of this type. I come from a working class family, I cannot pay for the university, neither any related costs. I was left very few options and paying for my education started to feel hopeless...
I have worked so hard, achieving all the goals I set out to beat and I can’t let finances stand in the way of my destiny. I ask you kindly to please consider donating, sharing and liking to my college fund, even the smallest amount of money would be the greatest gift and ultimately has the ability to change my life.
Thank you very much in advance for taking the time to read my campaign and for all the help.
- Jessica Martinez
- Fabiola Range
- Alfredo Garcia Navas
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