I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, a society wrought with paradoxes: oil-rich but where majority are poor, with a largely youthful population forced by the sheer desperation to survive, into unconventional criminal schemes. As far as I can remember, I have been driven by a strong desire to try to make some sense of the world in which I found myself, by creating stories. I have a passion to make films that explore the deepest, most vulnerable aspects of our human struggle. But I have had to fight against the biggest obstacles to pursue this dream.
After winning a scholarship to study in the U.S, extenuating circumstances led to my parents’ divorce, and my single mother did not have nearly enough to support my education. I struggled through school by working menial jobs, and hopping from one friend’s couch to another.
My family insisted that I study Engineering, and so I was secretly shuttling between two universities, so I could still take the film courses my school did not offer.
I managed to save up enough money to buy basic film equipment, and taught myself how to edit videos.
Through all the financial and circumstantial obstacles, I still graduated top of my class with a 3.90 GPA and several university honors.
After my undergraduate degree, I applied to the top film programs in the nation, and for three consecutive years, kept getting rejections. But that did not stop me.
Through that harrowing experience, I made several short films, worked at a Television studio, made a documentary, and won a handful of writing and film competitions.
On my fourth attempt, I finally got into the prestigious film program at University of Southern California. Considering my humble beginnings, I marvel that the letter in my hands admits me into the same institution that made filmmaking giants like Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas.
The problem is, I still do not have the finances to finally live this dream. As an international student, I can neither take out federal loans, nor gain employment. And so I have to rely solely on scholarships. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of scholarships available to foreign students in the arts. I am in a desperate situation; especially as I have just a few weeks to my resumption date.
I have put an indescribable amount of effort into applying to several scholarships over the past couple of months, scholarships that altogether add up to about $50,000. And I’m still waiting to hear back from the majority of them. I worked so hard at these that I am beyond confident that they will pan out.
However, my first semester begins in August, less than a month away, and I have to pay the first installment of my tuition, while I am waiting for the scholarship monies to come in.
I am asking for you to believe enough in this dream to contribute to the $10,000 I need for the first installment of my tuition fees. Know that I am not a quitter and I will fight with all that is in me to make sure this opportunity does not go to waste; especially not now that I’m closer than I have ever been.
If you have ever had a dream that you were so passionate about, that you would do anything to see fulfilled, then you can empathize with my current journey. Any level of support will go much farther than you can possibly imagine.
Thank you so much for reading this, and I sincerely hope that you will consider supporting me in making this life long dream finally come true.
- Sola Fagbure
- Spencer Glover
- Funmi Lanre-Phillips
- Saroya Whatley
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