I am starting this campaign on behalf of my niece, Jada. Jada is an amazing girl--smart, sweet and resilient. For the past two years, she has been living in a motel with four of her seven brothers along with her parents. They share two individual bedrooms and two bathrooms. That is all the space they have. Meals are cooked on a hot plate or in the microwave.
Despite her challenging life circumstances, Jada has managed to do very well in school taking a number of AP classes, excelling at English and ending her junior year with a 3.67 GPA. Additionally, she got a perfect score on the verbal component of the ACT getting a combined score of 30 out of a possible 36. This was achieved without any formal preparation classes. Her ultimate goal is to become a doctor and work in the NICU. This goal was sparked by a personal tragedy after her youngest brother's twin passed away when he was just one week old. She has endured a lot for a 16 year old and has managed to remain focused on her education and stay the course. She also maintains a part time job at KFC.
Aside from being a great student, Jada has fallen in love with the sport of fencing. She fences on her high school team and also attends the Peter Westbrook Foundation in New York City, a fencing academy for low income students. She commutes there every Saturday from Long Island- an hour commute each way. She would love to fence in college but in order to be competitive at the Div I level she needs to compete in extra tournaments to earn a letter. Her high school coach has said she has the potential to be a Div I prospect if she puts extra time into training hard and doing well at tournaments. He has said her current skill level is already at the Div II and III level.
The funds collected here will go to a variety of purposes including:
- travel expenses for college visits (gas, food, lodging)
- fencing tournament fees (most are $45 per tournament)
- travel expenses for tournaments (many are out of state. The first one is in August at Vassar College)
- travel expenses to Peter Westbrook
- fencing equipment
- possibly hiring a coach to help her during the tournaments (most fencers bring one or have a parent that can coach them during their match so they can alter their strategy.)
On behalf of Jada and her family, I thank you for making a donation. Jada will be the first one in her family to attend a four year college. I can't wait to see what becomes of this girl. I know she will do great things. Thank you for being a part of her journey.
What Jada loves about fencing:
" It's a sport that is very tactical and makes you think. You can't just go in and wing it. You have to train and practice and know what you are going to do before you do it. Also, I love that you can compete in team and individual matches because you have to work harder not just to better yourself but to help your teammates win."
- Jane Buchanan
- Mary Dawkins
- Sabrina Dunn
- Safiya Collymore
- Rosemarie Galindez
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