Imagine being one of two daughters being raised by a single mother who held three jobs to support the family, working 10 hours a day, seven days a week with just a few days off. Money is very tight, so there are no available funds to allow you to be in an after school program while your mother works. Instead, she picks you and your sister up from school, and you stay in the car doing your homework while she returns to work. After work, you all return to the home that you share with your uncle. All the while, your mother instills in you the importance of getting exceptional grades, being humble and respectful and being thankful for every opportunity presented to you. This was the young life of Amanda.
As Amanda watched her mother struggle and realized the many sacrifices her mother and uncle made for her and her sister, she knew that she wanted a better life, stating “All of these inconveniences and obstacles, have given me a bigger incentive to work harder to repay my mom and uncle for their sacrifices. I aspire to someday attend one of my dream universities and major in a subject that I enjoy, so my mom can stop worrying about me and be proud of my achievements.”
Amanda was sponsored by A Bridge For Kids in her sophomore year. During her interview, she demonstrated her strong desire to succeed academically and to further develop herself by participating in several sports and clubs in school. However, she did not have the money to purchase the necessary equipment and apparel needed for tennis and track and field. With her sponsorship, Amanda was able to purchase these items and compete with her teammates throughout her junior and senior year. And she was able to do so without feeling guilty that she was placing a financial burden on her mother. She had never before participated in extracurricular activities, and in retrospect says that sports and school clubs were an integral part of her development beyond being an academic. These activities gave her a different perspective on life as then helped her develop mental toughness and perseverance, leadership, and taught her how to interact with other students. All the while, Amanda maintained a strong GPA throughout high school, graduating with 4.833 GPA.
Amanda participated in the A Bridge For Kids East Coast College Campus Tour and fell in love with Brown University. She set her sights on attending that prestigious school and returned home determined to obtain a GPA and ACT score that would make her a competitive applicant. She signed up for the SAT/ACT prep courses ABFK offers and worked diligently to score well. Having achieved a 2170 SAT and 34 ACT, a strong GPA, shown active participation in sports and clubs, Amanda received that letter that she so fervently worked for, her acceptance into Brown University on a full scholarship.
Amanda just completed her first year at Brown and has chosen to major in Environmental Science, hoping to make a difference in people’s lives through the creation of a healthy environment. She also has carved out time to participate in Brown’s BEAM program (Brown Elementary Afterschool Mentoring) which provides a place for underprivileged kids to go while their parents work. Amanda wishes she has such a program when she was younger and is happy to help provide this safe environment for young people today.