College Education Assistance

"Birth and Death. The two conditions for which are out of my control. It's what happens in the middle that I can control."
My name is Douglas Leavitt. I graduated from Timber Creek High School in June of 2014 with a GPA of 3.7. I have had the honor of being accepted into one of the top rated colleges in the country, Rollins College, in Winter Park, Florida. I have earned a generous, academic scholarship from Rollins, for which I am grateful. I have earned other awards and was approved for FAFSA funding, and have monthly support from my adoptive parents. However, I am still left short 15,000 for the 2[phone redacted] freshmen year. The unexpected  remainder was a result of loosing two scholarships;  Bright Futures, didn't come through due to Legislative changes, even though I qualified. I MUST find a way to continue my Rollins education, for I am now one of few in the Pre-Med Program. This is the first year it is an option as a major, a five year program, and is exactly where I am meant to be.
Why is this goal so important for me to achieve? Because it is everything I dreamed of but never thought possible until now. After Rollins, I will attend Medical School to study genetics. The main reason I won't give up on this goal is because it is a miracle I even have the opportunity, considering the unbearable obstacles I had to overcome.
My father passed away when I was 4 from drug use. My siblings and I were left to be raised by my mother, who has a significant developmental delay and mental illness. The Department of Children and Family Services was a permanent place in my life. It took DCF 14 years to realize my siblings and I were living in the worst of conditions. We are lucky to be alive. During this time I was devoid of a normal childhood. I was in and out of school, homeless, hungry, neglected and abused. I wouldn't eat, so that my family could. I was surrounded by an environment of drug use and dangerous people. Without providing the 14 years of specific, unfathomable details, I assure you it was as bad as one would imagine. I had to take on the responsibility of taking care of my mother and younger siblings. I thought to myself, this would be my life. I fell into a deep depression, my mom took me out of school, and at 13 tried to get a job to take care of my family.
Luckily, my siblings and I were placed under the care of my Aunt and Uncle after 23 DCF investigations and 3 removals from my "home." Over the next 4 years, under their care, I gradually grew into my confidence, realized my intellectual potential and was able to begin to find my true self. Through a loving family, a stable home and my skill of survival, I began to become the person I thought I was. I want to continue to become the person I know I am.
My goal is to raise 6,300 to pay my past due for the fall semester so I don't get dropped from my spring classes.  After that I have until May, 2015 to raise the rest; but the sooner the better. Any contributions will be more than appreciated. My motto has always been to pay it forward. For all contributors, please note your charity of choice. For, in time, I will match your donation and apply it to your charity of choice, as my career develops.

With Sincere Thanks,
Douglas James Leavitt

"Become the person you think you are."
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Organizer

Douglas James Leavitt 
Organizer
Orlando, FL
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