Abbigail, 16 – Funded

Abbigail, a junior at Costa Mesa High School, is currently interested in three majors. Criminal justice and medicine interest her because she wants to help people get closure on what happened to their loved one — or help someone get well. She is inspired to study film or photography with the hope of putting a smile on someone’s face through art. Right now, she’s just focused on My graduating high school and getting into one of her dream colleges to get the best education for whatever course of study she decides.

What is something you are most proud of?

I am proud to be a good student. I put a lot of effort into my work and try to make sure I can be the best version of myself. I know that working hard in school is one of the best things to do because what I do in high school will eventually drive my future. I am also proud to be a mentor at such a young age. I am a volunteer “Big Sister” for the Big Brothers Big Sisters High School Bigs Program. Every week, I mentor a “Little” at an elementary school. I am proud of this because I know that I am making a change in a person’s life. Every time I meet my little, she is so excited to see me and that just makes me so glad that I am someone that she could look up to.

Have you gone through any tough or challenging times? If yes, how did you deal with those challenges?

My father passed away exactly two days before my ninth birthday. That moment was really hard for me, too, so I would bring his picture to school. Many of the kids in my class would make fun of me, but honestly, now that I look back at it, I’m glad I brought his photos. I feel like my dad was with me while those kids said hurtful things to me, and that’s all that matters. I have learned as I have gotten older that those people probably have something else going on and they want to just take it out on you. You should just be nice to them and not take it personally.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

I personally believe it’s crazy! I never would’ve thought that I’d get a scholarship or that people would spend the time to look at my story. Being a Girl on the Rise means a girl who works hard to get where she’s at despite her circumstances, and I feel honored to be regarded as one.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

My mentors from Big Brothers Big Sisters inspired me. During the school year we have study sessions and they always make sure that I am doing a great job in school. They have honestly helped me so much academically and mentally. When they told me about Girls on the Rise I instantly wanted to be involved. However, not just because they’re my mentors, but because they’re my best friends, too.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

The funding will help me reach my goals by visiting my dream colleges and opening my eyes to the possibilities of what attending and finishing college could do in my life. It’s important for me to visit my dream colleges because I want a college that would suit me academically and mentally. I would like them to have a great education experience as well as people who have the same values as I do.

What schools will you use the funding to visit, and why?

I will use the funding to visit Harvard and Duke University. Those two colleges are not in the state I live in so I’d have to take a plane to those places. They’re also really good schools and I would love to visit them to see if they’re right for me.