She’s a 15 year old who is about to be entering the 10th grade. Last year, she attended a public high school in New Orleans. Like most public high schools in New Orleans, her school is doing the best they can with the resources they have at their disposal, but unfortunately, it was simply not meeting her needs and not providing her with the kind of unique opportunities that she really needs to reach the extremely high goals she has set for herself. By the end of the first semester, she was already the highest performing student in the entire school. As a freshman. Seriously. Most students would see this as a great thing, and give themselves a much-deserved pat on the back and continue along at the top of the food chain. Gloria is the kind of student who saw this success as a problem. She has the self-awareness and the grit to know that if she’s the top performer in the school, then she’s not learning as much as she could be. She told me upon learning of this success that being the top just means there’s nowhere left to go. Remember, this is a 15 year old saying this.
This has led Gloria to apply to a variety of other schools that could better meet her needs. She applied to some of the public magnet schools in town that require admissions tests to get in. Unfortunately, because of some struggles in math (which is part of why she wants to go to a better school) and because of the way the lottery is set up (she lives in a neighborhood that gets no preference points for either of those schools) she fell one point short of acceptance at both. Rather than let this destroy her though, she simply looked to the next possibility, which led her to St. Mary’s Dominican High School.
Like the other schools, she had to take a test to get in, but this time, she passed. She toured the school and met with admissions staff and fell in love with the school’s culture. She learned of their anatomy lab and became obsessed with it. You see, Gloria wants to be a doctor in obstetrics and gynecology when she grows up (she can tell you about her reasons for this at length) and saw in Dominican a place that would foster her development and support her on the path to this big goal.
However, making this dream a reality comes at a financial cost that her family is simply unable to meet. Gloria lives with her sister, who works hard to provide for her while trying to better her own life by taking college classes. To try to offset the cost, Gloria has sought out every scholarship opportunity that is available to her, and has received several, including being a founding recipient of the Sideline Pass Scholarship. These scholarships and work-study grants have gotten her half of the way there.
We are asking for any small donation that you could possibly give to help this amazing young lady attend the amazing school that she deserves. As a proud public school teacher myself, I believe in, and am dedicated to creating a school system where every kid in New Orleans has access to a high quality education. However, I am not too proud to recognize when a student like Gloria simply needs more than we can give her. Gloria needs and deserves more than her public school can currently give her. Please help us give her what she needs.
Thank you for your support! -Adam and Ashley Lownik
I had the opportunity to teach Gloria in her 8th grade year. Gloria is a phenomenal young woman who has a profound interest in the sciences. Her creative mind leads her ask imperative questions of the world around her, which, if given the resources and science education, could lead to fundamental breakthroughs in healthcare.
As a 14 year old, Gloria read the story of Henrietta Lacks and was not only able to explain in detail the use of HeLa cells in cancer research, but was also able to eloquently discuss how the use of the cells was controversial. In the same year, her interest expaned further to CRISPR/Cas9 and she read all that she could on the scientific breakthrough. However, independent research was not enough for this driven high schooler. Desperate to expand her knowledge, she contacted experts in this field to obtain a first-hand account of this discovery.
Gloria is incredible and she deserves all that this world has to offer. I am especially excited to see how her creativity adds to the advancement of the sciences in a few short years.
Thank you! -Molly Hampsey
Meeting our goal of 5000 dollars would ensure that Gloria will be able to attend DHS this year. If we are fortunate enough to raise more than this goal, any additional funds will be set aside to support Gloria’s tuition next school year. We have a plan in place that will help her create a sustainable financial future at Dominican that includes several scholarships that Gloria was not eligible for this year, but will be next year. However, any additional funds beyond the goal will allow her to attend Dominican without having financial worries hovering over her head.
- Amber Freeman
- Kyle Terwillegar
- Victoria Kennedy
- Natalie Margot
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