A BETTER LIFE THROUGH SPONSORSHIP AND A UCLA EDUCATION
“My childhood consisted of sleep deprivation, tiredness, hopelessness, house infestations, insecurities, crowded rooms, different schools, eviction after eviction, prayers, and an experience that would open my eyes to the world.” Brianna shared these words with A Bridge for Kids during her interview process in spring of 2014 when she was in the eleventh grade. Parental and economic stability was not a luxury that Brianna had, as her father was not in the picture, her stepfather met a tragic death, and her mother faced overwhelming challenges and struggles. Yet through all of these hardships, Brianna was determined to take a bad situation and make it better for herself.
In high school, Brianna strove to achieve success academically, athletically, and socially. She worked hard to earn impressive grades, and yearned to participate actively in school sports such as basketball, track & field, volleyball and cross country. But these sports had associated costs that Brianna’s family could not pay for. In April, 2014, Brianna was awarded an A Bridge for Kids sponsorship which changed her life. With these funds, she was able to purchase gear and apparel for her sports, including a new pair of athletic shoes that replaced the badly worn pair she had been wearing for 3 years. She also purchased much needed school supplies including a scholarship reference book which help her search for college scholarships as well as accessories for her computer which helped her complete and exceed with her school work.
Brianna graduated with a 4.7 GPA and went on to attend UCLA. In addition to the monetary benefit of sponsorship, Brianna cited the emotional support that she received from her sponsor and A Bridge for Kids. She expressed that the organization felt like family and a home to her, a place where she not only got mentorship but through activities such as the California campus tour, she was able to meet others like herself, teens who had monumental challenges that they worked hard to overcome in an effort to succeed in life.
While Brianna entered college wanting to become a doctor, she found a new passion and changed her course of education. College was challenging and stressful, and Brianna found relief by going to the gym. Working out led her to a new found passion involving physical fitness. Today, she is exploring ways of turning this passion into a career and has changed her major from Biology to Psychology with a minor in Entrepreneurship. It is clear that Brianna will succeed in turning her passion into not just a career, but a lifestyle as well. A Bridge For Kids wishes her lots of luck in the future and have complete faith in her ability to create her own path. Brianna, A Bridge For Kids will always be “home” for you.