I first would like to introduce myself; my name is Fahsyrah Kumasi Knight, I am a 11th grader at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina and enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) program and anticipating in earning the I.B. Diploma. I presently have a weighted GPA 3.2 in the I.B. program (perhaps arguably the most rigorously program in all of Durham Public Schools) and consistently appeared on the ‘A-B’ honor roll. I love academic courses that challenge me in the area of critical thinking. My parents from a very young age have always had a vision for me to attend college and perhaps one day even attend medical school. I have done some observation work at Duke University Sports Medicine Program and I like physical therapy with a long term goal of becoming a physician assistant.
My parents have always been just meager working class people who advocated and instilled in me the value of being moral and ethical in life and a belief in hard work. They both were very lucky to attend college and graduate from a HistoricalBlackColleges and Universities (HBCU), however, both of my parents some twenty years later are still paying back their college loans and did not have the money to put aside to invest in a long term college fund for me. And speaking with them, I can tell that they are hurt and regret their financial inability to do this for me now that I am a junior in high school. But they have always assured me that I was going to college and my faith in God and them have never wavered, because I too have always known that I was college material and that I was going to be the first grandchild of my grandparents James and Annie Ballentine and on my father’s side the late Willie Berrian and Catherine Berrian to graduate from college.
This is where you all come in and this is why I find it necessary to tell my story as a recipient of Go Fund Me and solicit your financial help. Although, resources were at times scares my parents have always kept me engaged in programs and activities that would build character and foster academic excellence.
My parents (in particular my dad who is a very good story teller) have told me that at approximately two and a half years old, I showed an unusual physicality relative to body flexibility—flipping and tumbling with ease. So they decided to put me in tumbling classes (the Little Gym), which was a pre-gymnastic setting in order to allow me to have some fun doing what I liked doing. My parents later would enroll me into Bull City Gymnastics, this was a little more of a formal setting where they taught beginners techniques to aspiring young gymnastic students. Here I started to learn discipline and beginners gymnastic routines and later I joined onto Superior Gymnastics Club in Morrisville, NC, (member 2005 -2012) in which my gymnastic training became a lot more formal and competitive, and started to travel throughout the state of North Carolina and the southeast region competing against other gymnast and gyms. I also had a brief stint at Team Attraction Gymnastics (TAGS) in Apex, NC.
The highlight every year would be traveling to Orlando, Florida (Disney World) and competing against other gymnast at the Wide World of Sports Arena—I participated in floor exercise, vault, balance beam and bars and worked my way up to a level seven (7) gymnast. I also was the only member from HillsideHigh School to participate in the high school gymnastics program as a PAC-6 member. I have won tens of medals and awards for scoring high levels in the sport of gymnastics (my recent inspiration were Olympic gold medalists Dominique Dawes and Gabby Douglas). I finished in 2013 six in state in floor exercise and received a NC state medallion.
My parents for over ten (10) years were robbing Peter to pay Paul to finance my gymnastics classes, training, equipment, travels, etc., in order that I could experience and live my dream. I became a USA-Gymnast but as you go up in levels as an amateur gymnast the sport of gymnastics becomes very expensive and it became difficult to get sponsorship. I have always had my sights on getting a gymnastic athletic scholarship and using my God gifted athletic talents to perhaps earn an athletic scholarship to attend college and also I was fully aware this would alleviate my parents for trying to find ways to finance my college education.
Almost two years ago my parents called me into the kitchen on one evening and told me that they could no longer pay for my gymnastics training because it did not fit into the budget—this hardship partially came about due to my dad becoming sick and stricken with a debilitating disease, which prohibited him from working and our home became one income (I was upset and my emotions and feelings were all over the place). I felt like a ton of bricks had come crashing down on top of my head (I was concern about my dad’s health and trying to cope with not participating in gymnastics). This was the sport that I loved and had committed almost my entire childhood to developing my skills and building meaningful relationships with my teammates and my coaches. My gymnastics career came to an abrupt end because my parents could no longer finance my training and travels and in the back of my mind the vision and mission of using gymnastics as vehicle to possibly acquire an athletic scholarship appeared to have become derailed.
However, I received some encouraging and welcoming news that I still could realize my college vision by participating in the Jabberwock program and pageantry (a scholarship initiative program) , which is sponsored by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Thus, their mission statement is to train young girls in social etiquette, formality procedures and imbuing in them the importance of community service. We trust Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., because of their long legacy and history of inspiring and motivating young girls to achieve academically, building self-esteem and advocating the importance of citizenship—they have always stood as the proponent of black womanhood. If crowned Miss Jabberwock 2015, it will serve as a kick-starter relative to scholarship money and my college vision will not be a dream deferred but a dream realized.
So I am humbly asking everyone who visit and access my Go Fund Me Site to help me by opening your hearts, which to assist me financially to raise college scholarship money and remember no amount is too small or too large. All gifts and donations will be used to help me live my dream of attending college and using my education to uplift myself, family, community and humanity.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND MEMBERSHIPS
● Elected Junior Class Treasure of Hillside Student Government Association (2[phone redacted])
● Miss Sophomore Hillside 2[phone redacted]
● Miss Freshman Hillside 2[phone redacted]
● Member of Hillside Marching Band Dance and Auxiliary
● Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Hillside
● Ladies of Kappa League (social organization Hillside)
● Member of Student-U housed at Durham Academy
● Member of Collage Dance Company under the leadership of Momma Sadiyah and Momma Toni Hall
● Summer internship: Shadowed Physical Therapist Duke University Sports Medicine
● TAGS: High School Gymnastics Program
● Girl Scout Troup # 1582 (Durham White Rock Baptist Church)
● Volunteer First Calvary Baptist Church Day Care Center
I sincerely want to thank you all in advance for your financial contributions and I will not let you all down and after graduating from college and becoming a productive member of society, I promised to pay it forward. One great leader once stated my bank is the heart of the people. Lastly, failure is not an option and success and achievement is my life goal.
With gratitude and Love,
Fahsyrah Knight (11th grader)
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