Columbia U Tuition - 5 yrs clean

I have a true feel-good story about my 22-year-old son who struggled from the massive epidemic of heroin addiction and succeeded. He was a high school dropout after being pulled from high school and put into a rehabilitation service for 30 days then again a few months later.  The last rehabilitation stay worked.  Northwest Behavioral Services had special counselors who got through to Sam and he held onto what he learned from them and came home.  He continued to stay clean, attending two to three NA meetings everyday.  Two years later Sam went back to school to finish his HS education.  He, like many addicts, did not think he would succeed and commented that it was the drug that made him do so well years ago.  The first quarter he took one class, the next two, the next two classes and part time work.  Each quarter he received A's.  Soon he was working part time and taking a full load never dropping below a 3.8 GPA. Sam wanted to finish his college experience at a University and applied to one place, his dream college.  

As part of Sam's recovery he approached his high school drama teacher and asked if he could give back to the drama department.  Gretchen Stewart allowed Sam to help her as an assistant director of the high school productions.  Sam did so well that the high school offered him a paid position as the assistant director.   Gretchen Stewart was with Sam before, during and after his addiction and submitted a glowing letter of recommendation to Columbia University.

A few months ago we found out that Sam got accepted to Columbia University in NYC.  Sam received a $12K scholarship from being a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges.  This scholarship will help with the first year but it only scratches the surface. 

As his mother, I have seen this boy struggle and work hard to get where he is today.  I have mortgaged my home to use all of the equity for his education but it will not be enough.  I have no doubt, after witnessing how hard Sam has worked to stay clean and receive A's in school that he will succeed at Columbia University and beyond.  Today we are seeing more and more young and beautiful people overdosing from this drug but my Sam beat the odds.  There is nothing  more that I want than to see him get this Columbia University Degree and to go out and be as successful as I know he will be.  This will help show other addicts that they can also rise up from this epidemic and succeed.  Sam's success will show families of addicts that they can have renewed hope for their loved one who may be suffering from addiction.   Any assistance that you can contribute  would be extremely appreciated and used solely for Sam's goal of getting a Columbia University degree.  Thank you!
  • Gerald Hull 
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
  • danielle susan 
    • $5 
    • 30 mos
  • Gretchen Stewart 
    • $250 
    • 48 mos
  • Chris Byers 
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 50 mos
See all


Nancy Hershgold 
Kenmore, WA

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.