I’m the type of person who believes in finishing everything I start. When I first started college back in 2018, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to the end of this new path I had started down. I had plans to stay in school until a better opportunity came my way, then drop out and chase that said opportunity all the way to a stable career. Now, two and a half years later, I realized just how misguided my thinking was. Staying in college allowed me to take a step back and learn many valuable lessons that will stick with me for the rest of my life, one of them being how important it is to slow down and not rush into things. In doing so I was able to receive the many blessings that have shaped my life for the better.

Going to Camp Sunshine was always the highlight of my summer growing up. I was able to form lasting friendships with people from all over the state of Georgia with whom I still talk to daily. Being at camp made me feel like I could truly be myself, and it was so liberating being able to relate to and share a common bond with so many people. I am so thankful to have been a part of Camp Sunshine and the various programs they offered. Their ability to take something so painful and ugly as cancer and turn it into something beautiful and magical for so many kids is something I admire and take inspiration from when thinking of my own future endeavors.

Before 2020, I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go in. I was lost and confused for a while, until the pandemic sent everyone home in March of last year. I finally was able to rest and reflect on the previous months without having to constantly worry that I was making the wrong decision about staying in college. Like so many others in the world, the time spent at home allowed me to slow down. I knew that I had made the right decision to stay in school and it was now easier for me to continue working towards my degree since everything had moved online. I was getting more sleep and functioning better in my classes because I actually had the time to study the materials covered instead of rushing through them. As a result of this, my mental health improved, and I finally felt like I knew which path I needed to travel in. I had no plans for my future before this point, but now I can proudly say that I have a solid plan.

I hope to earn an internship soon that will give me the experience and skills needed to land a full-time job in the business world. After I graduate, I hope to one day open my own online jewelry business, with each piece I create symbolizing something important to me, like recycling, childhood cancer awareness, research and funding for a cure for cancer, and more. I plan on donating a portion of each item’s sales to different organizations and nonprofits like Camp Sunshine, global warming nonprofits, and others. In the future, I would like to open my own nonprofit for disadvantaged youth, and I hope that my lessons and experiences can one day be of value and inspiration to others.

I am so proud and very appreciative to have been a Camp Sunshine Scholarship recipient in the past. Since receiving the scholarship, I have continued my education and have learned more about the business world, how it works, and how I can run a successful business, something I had no clue on how to do before. Currently, I am on track to graduate next December, 2022 with a bachelor's degree in business management. Since my first semester of college and every semester since, I have been named on the Dean’s List and maintained a 3.85 GPA, all while balancing a full-time job. The Camp Sunshine Scholarship will help me financially so that I can continue my college career and keep pushing towards my dreams and goals. I don't know what is in store for me, but I do know that I am no longer lost and am walking a path that leads to a successful and bright future, and I couldn't be more excited to see where the journey takes me next.