Help Me Attend Sacred Heart!

Hi. I'm Maya. I was accepted into Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory high school with honors in March, but need to come up with $17,000 to cover the first year of tuition. My mom started this gofundme account for me so that we could make some headway.

In June, I finished junior high at Children's Day School in San Francisco after being awarded a 3-year scholarship from the school and the Boys & Girls Club following elementary school. With the goal of keeping my academic momentum going, I applied to five top San Francisco high schools during the last several months of junior high -- public charters, private schools, and perochial schools.

Fortunately, I was accepted and/or waitlisted into all of the private and parochial schools that I applied to after working very hard on my academics, high school prep tests, and loads of applications, essays and paperwork. And even more fortunately, I was one of the 300 kids who got into Sacred Heart out of 1100 applicants.

Even though my family and I qualified or got waitlisted for financial aid at all of my selected schools, we were not awarded any assistance this year from any of them, including Sacred Heart. We actually never imagined this scenario, as we are classified as pretty low income. It was explained that there were just more needful families than usual this year and we happened to be that family that wasn't awarded anything. So we're looking at $17,000 a year in tuition, plus books, uniforms, and other related costs.

My parents have taught me to go for what I want with everything I've got. I want to go to and graduate from Sacred Heart, so I intend on making it happen. Next year we can reapply for financial aid, but for now I just need to get through this first year.

So, along with some other fundraising efforts, we're asking our family and friends (and strangers) to consider lending a hand toward my education. My parents have been able pay for my registration and summer-school fees, so the ball is rolling. Next up, another tuition payment is due this month (July 2014).

I'm committed to sharing my adventure -- what's going on throughout the year and how things are shaping up -- through updates in this gofundme account, and then a blog, email and the like once school starts. I want to keep you and my other backers posted to honor your support and to be accountable.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, and for considering supporting me.
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Illy McMahan 
San Francisco, CA
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