Hello. My name is Tomás Tedesco. I’m twenty-one years old and my goal is to keep moving forward with my College education, so I can development personally and continue to re-create myself as a writer, which, I believe is one of my callings… In order to accomplish my goal, I’m applying for the Scholarship School of My Life. I’m also creating it. This is my application letter. I want to transfer to UC Santa Cruz to fulfill my dream of getting a bachelor's degree in Literature with a Concentration on Creative Writing. Due to my high GPA, the school will award me two-thirds of the yearly budget. I have some savings and the mettle of my family. Despite how tightly-knitted we are, I’m only blessed with their emotional and their logistic support. The rest is up to my survival skills and problem solving. And this is why I’m asking for help.
I don’t like asking for help. But my desire to finish my college education is more important than my romantic involvements with pride. You can read my life story or skip to the last paragraphs were you can learn how to help me.
This is my formation story. One version of it, at least. The struggles I’ll describe next are proof that nothing has stopped me in the completion of my ambition, while also revealing why individual drive isn’t enough to get what I want. We need others. So I’ll try to tie my individual story with all the other threads that made me who I am. It will all make sense in the end, but I must start in the beginning. My character has been templated through many fires in my life.
I will begin with my parents and what they gave me. I was born in Argentina, and spent 16 years of my life there. From before memory, my mother taught me how to be a student and a good person. She died of cancer when I was ten. I never forgot the discipline she instilled in me. The years that followed were the years where I taught myself. My father didn’t have to tell me to study, I had made a promise to her spirit to keep studying. Before I turned 17, we began our own American Dream when we moved to California with my dad, my little brother and my step-mom whom my dad married. In the last five years, I let my dad teach me how to live my life. California is where the seeds sprouted.
This is how I matured. I was forced to become an immigrant, I left my culture and people behind. I immersed myself in a whole new language and world. It has been a great learning experience; although, many times, it’s been a challenging one. From day one at my new school, I knew the key was to accept the fact that I belonged nowhere. Traveling exposed the whole world as my backyard, even when it’s divided by barriers of ideas and laws. As an immigrant, I had to learn to separate my individual self from the cultures I was a part of. The conscious choice to identify myself with different cultural strands not only clenched my identity crisis, but it gave me a stronger sense of self. I got to decided what part of these countries I identified myself with. I was still part of something bigger, but it didn’t define me anymore. Like I say, my dad was the one who set the wheels in motion by orchestrating us starting a new life here. But he wasn’t the only one.
My high school counselor pushed me by putting me in college level courses on my first year in the States. At that point, I would get a headache after 30 minutes of conversation. What hurt more was having 90% of my conversations with shallow high school kids and not being able to express myself because I had to translate conversations on the spot. I was slow. After a month of intense school work, I had my first dream in English. This was a big “AHA” moment. I learnt I didn’t have to translate anymore. I could become the new language, the new experience. Looking back, that breakthrough with language made realize I could do the same with other challenges of growing up.
Here’s a list of other things that I did but that I never imagined I would be able to do, or do at all:
I cycled 282 miles through Big Sur with two great friends. I became a bicycle mechanic mentor for Santa Barbara High School kids. I travelled to Europe for one month. I became more comfortable being around girls, which had been a challenge for me after my mom passed away. I also learned a new trade of skills as a physical therapist (for lack of a better word.) This has allowed me to heal myself and others. I became a U.S. Resident. I also stopped repressing my dreams of becoming a creative writer. This happened in my first creative writing class in college. I felt an incomparable joy. I was alive. I can’t describe the feeling of transforming life and thoughts into words. I felt like the writing process was hard and beautiful. This is why I came into this world, I thought. I dropped the fears I held as a little kid, the social pressure and all those voices that said “what are you going to do with it?,” “is that a thing?” etc, etc. I want to thank those ignorant remarks, for they were gasoline to the little kindle I had in my heart at that time.
Since then, in a very inconspicuous way, I’ve become more involved with my passion. I’ve taken part in open mics, writing classes and pretty much changed the way I read and the works of other people. I also write a lot in my free time. Now I analyze and absorb more as a reader, which fuels and shapes my own style and technique. I also write a lot in my free time. I went to City College to figure out what I wanted. Now that I knew it, I had a reason to stay there. I was on a mission, and nothing was going to stop me.
For the last two years I have couchsurfed around the city of Santa Barbara because my parents’ house was too far away from my school and my work. I’m immensely grateful to those who allowed me to housesit, sleep in their kitchen and sleep in their living room. You know who you are. Getting to know you all, sharing food and conversations has been priceless to me. I was always scared during the transitions times. Those moment in between the last comfort and the next one. But with creativity, help and good luck I was able to continue to live, and thrive. The proof is that I graduated from City College with an Associate’s Degree, a Certificate and honors like President’s Honor Roll and a Phi Theta Kappa membership.
Like I said before, I want to transfer to Santa Cruz to fulfill the next chapter of my dream. I want to get my Bachelor’s degree. I’m really stressed out about falling into student debt and being financially vulnerable during a time I should be focusing on learning and developing socially. I hope my story points out that I respect the system but I won’t blindly follow it. I don’t want student loans and student debt. For me, surviving and thriving require that I make-up new rules to plow the way forward. Now, as I step into the unknown, I have to ask the unknown. Will you support me now that I’m the most vulnerable? In the process of asking for help, I’ve accepted more and more that it’s okay for my journey to have the echoes of others in it.
So here are a variety of ways you can help me:
1.Share this with somebody who might enjoy reading this.
2. Even better, share this with somebody who might enjoy donating.
3. Donate at least ten dollars and get a link to my e-book “So Far, So Good.” It contains a compilation of some of the most “readable” pieces I written in the last 2-3 years.
4. If you are a donor in the Santa Barbara area, you can book a Resistance Flexibility session with me. My rate is one-hundred and twenty-five dollars for an hour and half. Visit the website to be more informed on our modality and to decide if that’s something you want to be part of. In the month and a half I have between August and September, I can do a maximum of 50 sessions. Please use the link below to book a session online.
5.Just donate for the sake of freedom.
I guess you could call this whole campaign aggressive advertisement. I call it creating opportunities. I consider both stretching people and writing my professions. In other words, I won’t feel shame if I earn my living through the keyboard or with my hands on a client. I won’t feel shame if strangers or friends help me either.
My availability for sessions begins August 7th and specific times are available on the calendar. Somewhere around September 15 I will be departing to Santa Cruz to get settled and start studying.
Thank you for reading this far and have a good life!
My booking website:
Contains information about the modality I work with: https://www.thegeniusofflexibility.com/
We bumped into a journalist on the first 5 miles of our bicycle journey:
And then turns out one of my friends wrote an article about the trip two years ago, I never knew: