Chasing Dreams and Overcoming Challenges: Ann-Marie

Written by Payal

May 30, 2023

Ann-Marie: Scholarship Winner

Ann-Marie is one of the first winners of the Hearts on Sleeves, Minds in College Scholarship, awarded on May 15, 2023. Read on to read Ann-Marie’s application essay and be sure to visit the scholarship fund page to contribute to helping students like Ann-Marie achieve their dreams.

Dreaming of Becoming the First Doctor in My Family

I wanted to start college straight out of high school, and my dream was to become the first doctor in my family. I knew it would take many years to get there, but I planned to complete my undergraduate degree in less than four years because I did a lot of Ap credit courses. I had at least 28 college credits- two semesters’ worth.

Importance of Scholarships for My Financial Situation

I had all the academics figured out. I always stay on top of my educational game, ensuring I get the best grades possible. I knew if I wanted to attend college, I had to get some form of scholarship because my parents could not afford a college education. But I did not pay enough attention to the financial aspects. When you are a teenager, you leave all the big decisions up to your parents. So that was what I did; I left it up to my parents to figure out my finances. I gave little thought to the fact that my parents supported over ten people financially, and if I wanted to go to college, I had to depend solely on scholarships.

Gap Years and the Impact of a Pandemic

Therefore, when my final semester of high school approached, and I only had a half-tuition scholarship, I had to take a gap year after high school, and I felt utterly defeated. I blamed myself over and over again because I was the one who did not take my college desires seriously and hunt down enough scholarships. That one gap year turned into two, and I was still no closer to getting my finances in order. During that two years, a pandemic also happened, further stalling my efforts.

Need for a Leave of Absence due to Financial Constraints

But after year two,  my parents had enough money to send me to college. I was still not independent in my college life. I still depended on my parents to take care of everything. That was why, after only a year, I had to take a leave of absence from my studies because my parents could not afford my education. My parents still could not meet the demands my tuition required.

Five Years Behind in My Journey to Become a Doctor

I was almost five years behind in my plans to become a doctor. I realized that I would have to push back my goal line. To say that I felt devasted would be an understatement. I felt gutted. But, during all the pain and agony of watching all my other classmates graduate and finish school, I learn a lot.

Holding Myself Accountable for My Goals

I learned it would take hard work and immense dedication if I wanted anything. I have to be ruthless when pursuing my dreams. I cannot leave it up to others to care for and sort it out because they can never truly understand my passion. I have to hold myself accountable and take responsibility for my own goals.

Before, I always saw the future as something that happens on a whim or out of luck. But the more I get older, the more I understand that the habits I employ right now directly and profoundly impact my future. And if I want it to turn out in my favour, I have to put in the work from now.

The Power of Scholarships

Scholarships like this one are what I will use to carve out the path to my goal. I did not have it smoothly from the beginning, but my struggles led me to this moment where I got the opportunity to share my story. Education is my vehicle to success, and scholarships fuel it. I will use this scholarship to drive myself closer to my dreams.

Continuing the Journey: Contribute to Future Scholarships

Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit about Ann-Marie’s story. Next week you’ll hear from Destiny, another scholarship winner. The next scholarship will be awarded in the Fall, please contribute to allow us to award as many students as possible!

If you’re here, and you’re considering how I might be able to support you, why not schedule a call with me? It’s free. There’s absolutely no pressure to buy anything – it’s just two people having a chat and seeing where it could go from there.


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