For a long time, college was an uncertainty for me. After struggling with mental health issues from an early age, my education took a backseat and my grades fell despite my capabilities. After graduating high school and starting at community college, I began to reignite my passion for learning and push myself to turn my study habits around. Still, a bachelor's degree from a four-year college program seemed like a dream. I worked hard for three semesters in community college while applying to schools, working, and studying for my required standardized test and, with time and effort, my dream came true. I was accepted to John Jay. Acceptance was the first hurdle to jump through. The next was tackling my anxiety and panic attacks enough to move 1,400 miles away from my home in Kansas City, and I did. Since coming to New York, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA and am ready to take the next step to enrich my education.
I recently discovered a study abroad program through the American Institute of Foreign Study which offers 5 weeks in St. Petersburg, Russia to study Russian language, sociology, and history with Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. As a sociology student and someone who is enormously interested in Russian art, history, and culture, the program is a perfect fit. Studying abroad would enrich my education, enhance my resume to give me a better chance at securing jobs and internships, and, perhaps most importantly, challenge my anxiety to prove to myself the magnitude of what I can do.
Unfortunately, with the uncertainty of scholarships and loans, I cannot make a commitment to the program as my family and I cannot afford to do so. Program costs include $6,000 for tuition, room and board, excursions and cultural/social activities, transportation (including round trip flights from London to Moscow), insurance and student assistance, meal allowance, and a Visa Application Fee. I will also need to purchase a flight package from the US to London for about 1,600. Any excess money earned from this campaign will be used for aditional travel costs and necessities or toward tuition for subsequent school semesters.
This is a steep goal, and I need to raise the money by late March 2018 to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, but if we can make it to my goal, it will undoubtedly change my life forever. For those of you even considering a donation, I am extremely grateful for you and your generosity. I promise I will not let you down.
- Sarah Barrett
- Cathy McGowan
- Gretchen Young
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