The Day I Opened The Life-Changing College Acceptance Email

The most memorable moment of my life was opening my first college admissions email congratulating me on my acceptance. My ecstatic reaction was heard down the hall. And that elation continued in the next several weeks as I was accepted to all twelve colleges I’d set my sights on. Over a decade later, I can’t remember a time in my life when I felt more proud and accomplished. 

I didn’t have a typical upbringing because I went to school two and a half hours away from home, a boarding prep school called The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT. Picture a miniature version of a secluded college campus where most students were white, privileged, and accustomed to an unparalleled education. 

But let me caveat—I was not like them. I grew up in Queens, New York, where the population is over 2 million, and almost half are foreign-born. Imagine the world’s most crowded, ethnically diverse public school system, where one could get easily lost. And I was lost for a while until my fortune was turned by a program called Prep for Prep. Prep for Prep is a gifted education program dedicated to expanding educational access to students of color.

The program consists of a 14-month rigorous academic component to prepare students to be placed in some of the country’s most elite, private, and boarding schools. When I say I was a determined 12-year-old, it’s an where to buy winstrol understatement. I worked harder in those 14 months than ever in my adult life,  going to school on weekends and over two summers on top of my regular school schedule. 

But there was also the issue of money. I grew up in a six-family household with two parents and three sisters. My father was in law enforcement, and my mother was a receptionist for a non-profit. While we had all the essentials, we crammed ourselves into two-bedroom apartments and forwent any luxuries like travel, dining out, or extracurricular activities—not even sports. I spent most of my summers reading and writing little stories to keep myself busy.  

But Hotchkiss provided a free ride and access to Olympic-sized sports facilities and music, art, and dance facilities compared to colleges. Slowly but surely, my extracurricular activities list grew to include softball, cross country, track, music, student government, and more, setting me up for college. This achievement would never have been possible without the help of programs like Prep for Prep and Adopt A Destiny, where college preparedness for students of color is prioritized. 

Not only did they help me prepare for boarding school life, but they also provided the cultural awareness and community to handle the drastic changes. They set me up for some of my life’s hardest, most rewarding, and fantastic moments. I am forever grateful for them and determined to give back through volunteerism. 

I hope to help a determined student of color one day feel the joy of opening a college acceptance email with the magical words of congratulations.

Honoring Dahlia Cowan’s Legacy

As we celebrate Dahlia’s birthday today, we’re reminded of the joy and inspiration she brought into our lives. Her radiant smile and unwavering spirit touched everyone she encountered, leaving a legacy of compassion, dedication, and a deep love for education.

A perpetually happy and smiling soul, Dahlia left a profound mark on all who knew her. She dreamed of offering educational opportunities, a gift she believed could change lives. And she had an unwavering love for young people, an unyielding belief in the power of education, and establishing The Dahlia’s Hope Memorial Scholarship in her memory epitomizes her legacy.

Learn more about the impact of her legacy and make a donation today.

She was an inspiration, akin to a candle that burnt brightly to illuminate the paths of others. Selfless and determined, Dahlia poured her time, energy, and resources into guiding, nurturing, and encouraging her students, particularly those back in her homeland Jamaica.

Still, Dahlia’s devotion extended beyond classroom walls. She spent countless hours on the phone with parents and family members, demonstrating her commitment to the success and well-being of her students. Her warmth, her kindness, and her infectious sense of humour made her a cherished presence in the lives of those around her, she was a beacon of light, a mentor, and a friend.

Her passion for education was a constant thread in her life. Whether she was tutoring young children on weekends or offering support to those facing behavioral challenges, her focus remained on creating opportunities. Dahlia saw education as a gift, a key to a brighter future, and she shared it generously. Her compassionate nature led her to dedicate significant portions of her time to children in less-than-ideal circumstances, from humanitarian efforts in Africa to neighborhoods in Jamaica.

Below is a garden of prayer created in Dahlia’s honor by St Mary Roman Catholic High School, Croydon, U.K. where she taught before she died.

It was from these humbling experiences that Adopt A Destiny was born, a living embodiment of Dahlia’s wish, idea, and promise. Alongside her sister Morlette, this dream became a reality, reflecting Dahlia’s unwavering commitment to investing in children’s education back in Jamaica. The legacy she left behind is one of love, laughter, and light, and the Dahlia’s Hope Memorial Scholarship is a powerful testament to her enduring impact.

Listen to Josh, one of Dahlia’s former student

As we celebrate Dahlia’s dream, let us honor her memory through the simple yet profound act of giving, donating, and contributing to our cause. The legacy of Adopt A Destiny, an idea that outlived her, embodies the essence of Dahlia—someone who believed in the potential of every child and worked tirelessly to make a difference. Her dream lives on, and we keep that flame of hope alive through our collective efforts.

Happy Birthday, dear Dahlia! Your spirit lives on, guiding us to uplift and empower young people as you did with boundless kindness and generosity.

 

We See You!

To the single parent struggling to make ends meet. You’re working two jobs just to keep a roof over your head and food on the table. You’re exhausted, stressed, and feeling hopeless.

To make matters worse, your eldest child is about to graduate high school. You know you can’t afford to send them to college, and you’re worried about their future.

You’re not alone. There are millions of parents in the same situation. The cost of college is rising faster than inflation, and it’s out of reach for many families.

But there are options. There are scholarships, grants, and work-study programs that can help you pay for college. You can also talk to your child’s high school guidance counselor about financial aid.

It’s important to remember that you’re not a failure. You’re doing the best you can with what you have. And there are people who want to help.

So don’t give up. Keep fighting for your child’s future. With hard work and determination, you can make college a reality.

Here are some resources that can help you pay for college:

The FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a form that you can fill out to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid.

Scholarships: There are thousands of scholarships available to students from all backgrounds. You can search for scholarships online or through your child’s high school or college.

Grants: Grants are free money that you don’t have to pay back. You can find grants from government agencies, foundations, and private organizations.

Work-study: Work-study programs allow students to earn money to help pay for college. You can find work-study jobs on campus or in the community.

Here are some tips for talking to your child about college:

Start early. The earlier you start talking to your child about college, the more time you’ll have to plan and prepare.

Be honest. Talk to your child about your financial situation and what you can afford.

Be realistic. Don’t set your child up for disappointment by promising to pay for college if you can’t afford it.

Be positive. Help your child focus on the opportunities that college can offer.

College is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With hard work and determination, you can make it a reality for your child.

From Jamaica to China: The Sashalee Beasley Story

 

Once upon a time, a bright-eyed, ambitious girl from the hills of St. James dared to dream a bigger dream than her circumstances dictated. Her name is Sashalee Beasley, and she will become a doctor in one year. Her life story, filled with setbacks and triumphs, is inspirational.

Those Early Years

Describing her formative years as being beset with hardship, she recalled how her mom, a single parent, had to do numerous jobs to help the family survive. From “domestic work” to selling in the market and even farming, Sashalee accompanied her mom and helped with the task at hand. Nevertheless, although they were poor, her small family unit was always happy.

As her mother, Virginette Dawkins observed in an early newspaper article, her daughter has always been a hard worker:

“She was always selling sweets and Kisko in high school to help herself with lunch money and transportation… for Summer jobs; she would pack bags.”

The School Years

On leaving Bickersteph Primary and Infant School, Sashalee attended the Montego Bay High School for Girls, where she completed CSEC subjects. She then went on to Cornwall College for Sixth Form CAPE studies.

The love of the sciences propelled this high school footballer as she contemplated careers in environmental studies or Natural Science. In her later high school years, however, her interest in Medicine was firmly set, and she has never looked back.

The Next Step

As graduation grew closer, planning for the next step in her academic career became urgent. Not having the resources meant seeking help from individuals and businesses in Montego Bay and beyond.

Having gained the requisite subjects with excellent grades was no guarantee of a more accessible entry to her dream career.

Hopes of gaining a scholarship based on her football exploits also fell through.

Although accepted by the University of the West Indies Faculty of Science and Technology, the inability to qualify for a Student Loan meant that that opportunity could not be pursued. Many would have given up at this point, but her determination to achieve her goal remained steadfast.

 

Once upon a time, a bright-eyed, ambitious girl from the hills of St. James dared to dream a bigger dream than her circumstances dictated. Her name is Sashalee Beasley, and she will become a doctor in one year. Her life story, filled with setbacks and triumphs, is inspirational.

Those Early Years

Describing her formative years as being beset with hardship, she recalled how her mom, a single parent, had to do numerous jobs to help the family survive. From “domestic work” to selling in the market and even farming, Sashalee accompanied her mom and helped with the task at hand. Nevertheless, although they were poor, her small family unit was always happy.

As her mother, Virginette Dawkins observed in an early newspaper article, her daughter has always been a hard worker:

“She was always selling sweets and Kisko in high school to help herself with lunch money and transportation… for Summer jobs; she would pack bags.”

The School Years

On leaving Bickersteph Primary and Infant School, Sashalee attended the Montego Bay High School for Girls, where she completed CSEC subjects. She then went on to Cornwall College for Sixth Form CAPE studies.

The love of the sciences propelled this high school footballer as she contemplated careers in environmental studies or Natural Science. In her later high school years, however, her interest in Medicine was firmly set, and she has never looked back.

The Next Step

As graduation grew closer, planning for the next step in her academic career became urgent. Not having the resources meant seeking help from individuals and businesses in Montego Bay and beyond.

Having gained the requisite subjects with excellent grades was no guarantee of a more accessible entry to her dream career.

Hopes of gaining a scholarship based on her football exploits also fell through.

Although accepted by the University of the West Indies Faculty of Science and Technology, the inability to qualify for a Student Loan meant that that opportunity could not be pursued. Many would have given up at this point, but her determination to achieve her goal remained steadfast.

 

Once upon a time, a bright-eyed, ambitious girl from the hills of St. James dared to dream a bigger dream than her circumstances dictated. Her name is Sashalee Beasley, and she will become a doctor in one year. Her life story, filled with setbacks and triumphs, is inspirational.

Once upon a time, a bright-eyed, ambitious girl from the hills of St. James dared to dream a bigger dream than her circumstances dictated. Her name is Sashalee Beasley, and she will become a doctor in one year. Her life story, filled with setbacks and triumphs, is inspirational.

Those Early Years

Those Early Years
Those Early Years

Describing her formative years as being beset with hardship, she recalled how her mom, a single parent, had to do numerous jobs to help the family survive. From “domestic work” to selling in the market and even farming, Sashalee accompanied her mom and helped with the task at hand. Nevertheless, although they were poor, her small family unit was always happy.

Describing her formative years as being beset with hardship, she recalled how her mom, a single parent, had to do numerous jobs to help the family survive. From “domestic work” to selling in the market and even farming, Sashalee accompanied her mom and helped with the task at hand. Nevertheless, although they were poor, her small family unit was always happy.

As her mother, Virginette Dawkins observed in an early newspaper article, her daughter has always been a hard worker:

As her mother, Virginette Dawkins observed in an early newspaper article, her daughter has always been a hard worker:

“She was always selling sweets and Kisko in high school to help herself with lunch money and transportation… for Summer jobs; she would pack bags.”

“She was always selling sweets and Kisko in high school to help herself with lunch money and transportation… for Summer jobs; she would pack bags.”

The School Years

The School Years

On leaving Bickersteph Primary and Infant School, Sashalee attended the Montego Bay High School for Girls, where she completed CSEC subjects. She then went on to Cornwall College for Sixth Form CAPE studies.

On leaving Bickersteph Primary and Infant School, Sashalee attended the Montego Bay High School for Girls, where she completed CSEC subjects. She then went on to Cornwall College for Sixth Form CAPE studies.

The love of the sciences propelled this high school footballer as she contemplated careers in environmental studies or Natural Science. In her later high school years, however, her interest in Medicine was firmly set, and she has never looked back.

The love of the sciences propelled this high school footballer as she contemplated careers in environmental studies or Natural Science. In her later high school years, however, her interest in Medicine was firmly set, and she has never looked back.

The Next Step

The Next Step
The Next Step

As graduation grew closer, planning for the next step in her academic career became urgent. Not having the resources meant seeking help from individuals and businesses in Montego Bay and beyond.

As graduation grew closer, planning for the next step in her academic career became urgent. Not having the resources meant seeking help from individuals and businesses in Montego Bay and beyond.

Having gained the requisite subjects with excellent grades was no guarantee of a more accessible entry to her dream career.

Having gained the requisite subjects with excellent grades was no guarantee of a more accessible entry to her dream career.

Hopes of gaining a scholarship based on her football exploits also fell through.

Hopes of gaining a scholarship based on her football exploits also fell through.

Although accepted by the University of the West Indies Faculty of Science and Technology, the inability to qualify for a Student Loan meant that that opportunity could not be pursued. Many would have given up at this point, but her determination to achieve her goal remained steadfast.

Although accepted by the University of the West Indies Faculty of Science and Technology, the inability to qualify for a Student Loan meant that that opportunity could not be pursued. 
Many would have given up at this point, but her determination to achieve her goal remained steadfast.

The Turning Point

With the same determination she had when she left an unhappy home with a 6-year-old Sashalee and youngest son, her mother was instrumental in raising public awareness of Sashalee’s story. She went to press, leading to Sashalee appearing on national television, further highlighting her story.

A Light at Last

In 2016, as the deadline to take up her offer in China approached, one interview changed everything as what looked like a rejection at first turned out to be the game changer. The main sponsor she hoped for committed to investing in her by providing her first year of tuition.

Her journey to Anhui Medical University in Eastern China had begun.

The China Experience 

Living and studying in China for the last five years has been instructive.” I see what can be achieved over time. Being in Jamaica, you are not exposed to what is possible”. And although it has not been easy, Sashalee has used this experience to think of all the possibilities now open to her.

She is hugely grateful for the chance to attain her academic and career goal. She describes one of her journey’s highlights as the encounter with her mentor Morlette Cowan, CEO of Adopt A Destiny. What she describes as the “unseen costs” of education can be problematic, and it can be awkward to keep going back to your main sponsor, who has already covered tuition, to ask for things like school materials or meal support. The assistance from this encounter has been crucial to her progress.

There is also recognition that the ongoing support of her main sponsor for her six years of study has been invaluable. As she enters her final year of Medical school, she is mindful of students who are where she was five years ago.

The Turning Point

With the same determination she had when she left an unhappy home with a 6-year-old Sashalee and youngest son, her mother was instrumental in raising public awareness of Sashalee’s story. She went to press, leading to Sashalee appearing on national television, further highlighting her story.

A Light at Last

In 2016, as the deadline to take up her offer in China approached, one interview changed everything as what looked like a rejection at first turned out to be the game changer. The main sponsor she hoped for committed to investing in her by providing her first year of tuition.

Her journey to Anhui Medical University in Eastern China had begun.

The China Experience 

Living and studying in China for the last five years has been instructive.” I see what can be achieved over time. Being in Jamaica, you are not exposed to what is possible”. And although it has not been easy, Sashalee has used this experience to think of all the possibilities now open to her.

She is hugely grateful for the chance to attain her academic and career goal. She describes one of her journey’s highlights as the encounter with her mentor Morlette Cowan, CEO of Adopt A Destiny. What she describes as the “unseen costs” of education can be problematic, and it can be awkward to keep going back to your main sponsor, who has already covered tuition, to ask for things like school materials or meal support. The assistance from this encounter has been crucial to her progress.

There is also recognition that the ongoing support of her main sponsor for her six years of study has been invaluable. As she enters her final year of Medical school, she is mindful of students who are where she was five years ago.

The Turning Point

The Turning Point
The Turning Point

With the same determination she had when she left an unhappy home with a 6-year-old Sashalee and youngest son, her mother was instrumental in raising public awareness of Sashalee’s story. She went to press, leading to Sashalee appearing on national television, further highlighting her story.

With the same determination she had when she left an unhappy home with a 6-year-old Sashalee and youngest son, her mother was instrumental in raising public awareness of Sashalee’s story. She went to press, leading to Sashalee appearing on national television, further highlighting her story.
went to press, leading to Sashalee appearing on national television, further highlighting her story.

A Light at Last

A Light at Last
A Light at Last

In 2016, as the deadline to take up her offer in China approached, one interview changed everything as what looked like a rejection at first turned out to be the game changer. The main sponsor she hoped for committed to investing in her by providing her first year of tuition.

In 2016, as the deadline to take up her offer in China approached, one interview changed everything as what looked like a rejection at first turned out to be the game changer. The main sponsor she hoped for committed to investing in her by providing her first year of tuition.

Her journey to Anhui Medical University in Eastern China had begun.

Her journey to Anhui Medical University in Eastern China had begun.

The China Experience 

The China Experience 
The China Experience 

Living and studying in China for the last five years has been instructive.” I see what can be achieved over time. Being in Jamaica, you are not exposed to what is possible”. And although it has not been easy, Sashalee has used this experience to think of all the possibilities now open to her.

Living and studying in China for the last five years has been instructive.” I see what can be achieved over time. Being in Jamaica, you are not exposed to what is possible”.
And although it has not been easy, Sashalee has used this experience to think of all the possibilities now open to her.

She is hugely grateful for the chance to attain her academic and career goal. She describes one of her journey’s highlights as the encounter with her mentor Morlette Cowan, CEO of Adopt A Destiny. What she describes as the “unseen costs” of education can be problematic, and it can be awkward to keep going back to your main sponsor, who has already covered tuition, to ask for things like school materials or meal support. The assistance from this encounter has been crucial to her progress.

She is hugely grateful for the chance to attain her academic and career goal. She describes
one of her journey’s highlights as the encounter with her mentor Morlette Cowan, CEO of Adopt A Destiny. What she describes as the “unseen costs” of education can be problematic, and it can be awkward to keep going back to your main sponsor, who has already covered tuition, to ask for things like school materials or meal support. The assistance from this encounter has been crucial to her progress.

There is also recognition that the ongoing support of her main sponsor for her six years of study has been invaluable. As she enters her final year of Medical school, she is mindful of students who are where she was five years ago.

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There is also recognition that the ongoing support of her main sponsor for her six years of study has been invaluable. As she enters her final year of Medical school, she is mindful of students who are where she was five years ago.

Preparing for the Future

Preparing for the Future
Preparing for the Future

In the future, this doctor-in-waiting sees herself as a real example of what is possible.

In the future, this doctor-in-waiting sees herself as a real example of what is possible.

“… All this, my progress, would not have been possible without the sponsorship I got to fund my studies. Also, sponsorship did not only solely fund my studies but also put me in an environment or a state of mind where I could see the bigger picture and open other doors. It most importantly gave me the motivation and the stability to stay focused and steady-headed so that I, Sashalee Natasha Beasley, a trying, determined, motivated Jamaican girl from HUMBLE beginnings, can shortly lend a hand to other students in need of help. And this keeps me going, the eagerness, the desperate need for success, simply so that I can help another.”

“… All this, my progress, would not have been possible without the sponsorship I got to fund my studies. Also, sponsorship did not only solely fund my studies but also put me in an environment or a state of mind where I could see the bigger picture and open other doors. It most importantly gave me the motivation and the stability to stay focused and steady-headed so that I, Sashalee Natasha Beasley, a trying, determined, motivated Jamaican girl from HUMBLE beginnings, can shortly lend a hand to other students in need of help. And this keeps me going, the eagerness, the desperate need for success, simply so that I can help another.”

The Michael Bailey Story

Being an academic trailblazer would be a dream for 19-year-old Michael Bailey, a first-generation university student from St. Thomas. Michael, a proud Morant Bay High School graduate, attained 16 subjects, including 11 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects and 8 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exam (CAPE) subjects. He also earned the prestigious award of top student in CSEC Principles of Business and CAPE Economics and was an honor roll student for 2015, 2016, and 2019.

With the strong support of his parents and his resilience and grit, he was able to excel academically and navigate the college admissions process. Michael recounts that his most outstanding achievement is participating in a competitive scholarship summer program at the University of California. This experience ignited his desire to pursue his future studies in the US.

Michael with his mother at the airport.

For the Fall 2021 semester, he earned admission to eight (8) universities in the US and Jamaica and the following scholarships:

  • The Waldorf University Pillars Scholarship,
  • Atlanta Jamaica Association dianabol online Scholarship,
  • Elevate Scholarship and
  • First Generation First Scholarship, and
  • The prestigious Maryville’s College International Diversity Scholarship; which is awarded to one international student each year

Relief from Poverty

Notwithstanding his high achievement and unselfish acts of service, Michael was not immune to academic and financial challenges. He recalled struggling academically during the first two years of high school due to a lack of effort on his part.

These failures were, however, teachable moments for him as he learned first-hand that “what you put in, you get out,” and therefore, he would need to work harder to achieve better results. With higher returns on investment, Michael became very passionate about learning and later took it upon himself to lessen his parents’ financial burdens by photographing notes in texts books rather than requiring them to purchase the books. He saved money from his allowance during his senior year of high school to pay for his SAT examination registration fee.

Michael accepted a full scholarship to Maryville College in Tennessee, USA, and started on August 16, 2021.

 

 

 

How to Navigate the F-1 Student Visa Interview Process

The Final Step: Your Student Visa

So, you’ve secured admission to your dream school and earmarked enough financial resources to make a move. However, like most international students, there’s one small (probably LARGE) barrier; the F-1 student visa.   A lot is riding on a five-minute dialogue with a stranger. Fortunately, with enough confidence and information, you can ace the interview and leave the United States embassy with an approval letter.

Why should you believe me? I just went through this myself. My name is Michael Bailey, and I recently aced my student visa interview. Here are some tips that you may find helpful.

Ooze Confidence

man in blue button-up collar holding gray laptop bag and holding glass door

Surprisingly, the F1 student visa interview is not as scary as it sounds, as the Officers seem to enjoy granting student visas. Upon arrival, your greatest challenge may be to overcome self-doubt. However, be confident from the security checkpoint until you finish your interview. Doing this will make your answers more fluid and credible, and you will find the process a lot easier.

To boost your confidence, stand upright, look the Officer directly in the eyes, and stay composed throughout your session, even if you are asked a question you were not prepared to answer. Don’t be scared to say, ‘I am sorry, but I do not know the answer to that question.’

Practice Makes Perfect

Most visa interviewers ask the same questions: Why did you choose this college? How will you pay for your expenses, and what will you do after your studies? By practicing, you will become more confident and comfortable with your answers. This will work well in your favor as it will convince the Officer that you are prepared and deserving of the student visa. Here’s a complete list of possible questions that you may find helpful.

“The most important piece of advice that I can give to anyone desirous of studying overseas, is to practice, practice, and practice some more”.

Prep for the Conversation

two men talking

 

Don’t be fooled; without all the necessary documents, your visa application will not be successful. Here are a few tips to keep you organized and focused.

  1. Create a checklist of all the must-have documents required for the interview weeks in advance;
  2. Ensure that you print copies of all must-have documents. These include your acceptance letter, Form-I-20, scholarship letters/bank statements, passport, and DS-160 confirmation page.   It is highly advised that you only hand these documents over to the Officer when asked, at which point you should ensure that they are straightened and not in an envelope;
  3. Keep all your must-have documents in one place; a folder is a good option; and
  4. Arrange all your documents based on the likelihood that the Officer will ask for them. For example, they may want to see your SEVIS fee receipt and Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status), so make sure they are at the top of the pile.

With confidence and all documents in hand, the visa interview will be over before you know it.

You have worked so hard to get to where you are, so use the opportunity to show this to the interviewer. Don’t forget to demonstrate why you deserve the visa and assure them that you will abide by all the student visa rules. 

By being truthful and considering all the tips above, you should stand a good chance of leaving the embassy with an approval letter.

Best of luck with your F-1 Student Visa Interview.

Please let me know if I am of any help.

How I got into College Abroad, with a Full-Tuition Scholarship

Despite being a novice, I was fixated on navigating the admissions process to become a Maryville College Fighting Scot. As an international student, the admissions and scholarship essays were the most challenging aspects. Secondary education did not coach me to write candid, advanced, concise essays that American colleges expect of their applicants. Students are encouraged to share profound and vulnerable experiences while demonstrating grit and growth. To succeed in the college admissions process, I knew I needed to develop a sense of direction and show maturity. 

 

 

Here are some things I learned during the 2020-2021 college application season:

The quest for GREAT GRADES

Grades are undoubtedly a crucial factor. However, don’t be dissuaded if you don’t have the best grades. US colleges review admissions and scholarship applications holistically, meaning they look at the entire application before making a final decision. Colleges want students to contribute positively to their community and help to change the world not necessarily the smartest. However, it is still imperative to have solid grades, as this enhances a student’s value proposition. How did I do this? I ensured that I completed all assignments, studied for tests, and excelled on examinations. Universities want to see how well you perform throughout the year, including your national secondary school-leaving examinations (CSEC and CAPE) results. 

Ready….Set… RESUME!

 

Here are a few questions to consider:

How active are you in your school and community? 

Did you volunteer? 

Are you a leader? Are you pursuing your academic passions outside the classroom? Do your activities provide any link to the interests you mentioned elsewhere on your application?

These are questions that colleges ask when reviewing your resume. Don’t peak your activities to deceive admission. Ensure that you participate in those that you care deeply about. For example, I am passionate about leadership; I served as a Form Captain, Assistant Form Captain, Prefect, and Senior Prefect, distributed from first to sixth form. Colleges will see my passion from the start to the end; as more valuable than joining the 4-H club in the second semester of upper sixth form. 

What are your teachers saying about you?

In college admissions, everything holds weight, and it is no different when it comes to letters of recommendation. Bearing this in mind, I chose teachers aware of my academic aptitude and community endeavors to write personal letters of recommendation. I asked teachers who were enthused and wanted to see me succeed. Generally, I gave my teachers about a month to write my recommendation letters. It is essential to provide ample time so that they can reflect if necessary. A brag sheet summarizes your activities and honors and can refresh a teacher’s memory. 

The goal of any scholarship application is to stand out. When submitting a recommendation letter for the International Diversity Award, I used a UC Berkeley program director who wrote an excellent letter on my behalf. I am pretty sure that this demonstrates my ability to thrive in competitive environments outside of my comfort zone. Everyone has a math teacher, but how many students can get a college recommendation letter in high school? 

Enjoy the process. Build your college list wisely, and put your best foot forward in each component. Find your competitive edge, and tell your story. There is no better feeling than a letter that starts with, “Congratulations!”

 

My Story – Sashalee Beasley

         My name is Sashalee Beasley, and this has been one of my most significant philosophies in life since I was a child. During childhood, I understood that I was underprivileged compared to my peers. However, this did not deter me from thriving for success; it motivated me more.

        I grew up in Montpelier District, St. James – a rural area of Jamaica in a single-parent household with my mother and siblings. She was a domestic worker who occasionally worked two jobs to cover our financial needs despite earning minimum wage. Even though I was a child, I took notice of the predicament I was facing and would often hustle at school by selling sweets to ease some of the financial strain off my mother and help provide for myself. However, there were times when it became overbearing, and it was sometimes a challenge to balance schoolwork because it affected me emotionally. Still, my dream to become a doctor kept me motivated every step of the way. Sometimes my mother’s acquaintances would assist, and I was beyond grateful. 

Living My Dream 

In 2016, my lifelong dream finally came to life. I left Jamaica for the first time in 2016 to finally pursue my dream and life-long goal of becoming a doctor. I got accepted to a medical university in china (which I’m currently enrolled in), but at first, I did not know how I would finance my tuition fee. I roamed the streets of Montego Bay seeking sponsorship and sending hundreds of e-mails and letters until a private company agreed to cover my tuition fee for the first year. At the end of the first year, the same company decided to cover my tuition fee for four buy anadrol more years due to my consistent academic performance. Though it would usually be hard to provide for my needs, the fact that I only have my final year tuition to cover makes me feel a little more at ease, but with my faith and motivation, I know it will work out, and I will be successful regardless of the struggles I faced. 

 Sponsorship has helped me attain the goals I had set out since I was a child, and because of the help I’ve received every day, I am one step closer to attaining my dream. I will also soon be able to assist other persons with similar challenges that I faced. This initiative would benefit ambitious, goal-driven Jamaicans like me, who aspire to better themselves and their family and eventually help Jamaica, regardless of the struggles while growing up in less-fortunate homes.