Ebony C., 16 – Funded

Ebony C. is passionate about pursuing a future career as a child developmental psychologist or an adolescent mental health therapist. To that end, this Girl on the Rise is looking at key schools like Spelman College and Howard University that specialize in psychology and/or social work programs with courses that focus on child development for both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

What is something you are most proud of?

I am proud of maintaining my all A honor roll throughout high school. I’m in the International Baccalaureate® (IB) program and I sometimes go through setbacks due to my mental health and anxiety about the future. But I’ve still managed to maintain all A’s and stayed in the top 1 percent of my class in terms of rank. Numbers and grades aren’t the only things that matter to me because I know numbers don’t define a person, though I know I have struggled in several classes for a while yet I still managed to pull through and maintain my all A honor roll.

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

I moved from Sacramento, California, to Macon, Georgia, right before sixth grade. I had social anxiety all throughout my life, but I was used to people by then. When I moved, I had to get use to new people again. I successfully did that, but when Covid happened, I didn’t socialize with many people except a few friends. So, it was really hard transitioning to high school in August 2020 and socializing with people again without being extremely nervous.

Throughout high school, I’ve managed to get over it by pushing myself to present first and politely start conversation with other people who I notice are nervous. Hopefully, it’s an inspiration to them and helps them socialize — and it helps me in the process, too, so I can grow!

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

It has shown me that all the work I’ve done has been worth it. I know hard work doesn’t always have to be for a reason, but I have sometimes been very unsure if I would succeed in life because of self-doubt or my anxiousness.

To be selected shows me that there are always greater opportunities when you continue to do your best and you try to inspire others to do their best, as well. It has shown me that no matter how long it takes or how little or big it may be, someone will always notice your hard work and effort you’re putting into things.

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

I was inspired to be involved with Girls on the Rise mainly because of what it was called and its basis of helping girls succeed. I know girls can do anything we want or try to do, but girls are often undermined or our impact in life is under-valued.

I want to be another girl who succeeds and to make it proudly known that we do make an impact in life. I am simply one girl, but I want to show the world that one girl can make a difference along with so many others. I believe Girls on the Rise can help me get to where I want to be successfully, so that I can prove that and continue the large line of successful women.

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?

It allows me to determine the best college for me to make an impact on children’s lives in the future.

Although my mother is able to do things like pay bills, she doesn’t have money to simply spend on things like college visits or traveling to see what would be the right fit for me. Visiting these out-of-state or city colleges is important to my journey because I know I can only succeed to my best ability if I’m in a good and comfortable environment that pushes me and surrounds me with other peers or mentors who want me to succeed, as well.

I don’t want money to get in the way of my success when I know I can have an excellent future if given the opportunity to see which factors best suit me, such as the college.

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

Spelman College and Clark University — one has a social work program and the other is an all-girls school with psychology. Both of those are important factors to me. However, they are only an hour-and-a-half away, so I will likely not use much funding for those. So, the main schools I will be using the funding to visit are Hampton University and Howard University. I live in Georgia and those are in Washington and Virginia.

Howard has an undergraduate psychology major and I could get my master’s in social work there as well. It is an HBCU and there are several opportunities to meet inspirational people there, too, so I feel that it would potentially fit me if schools like Spelman or Clark didn’t.

Hampton University has a psychology major as well but they have counseling programs and there are large research opportunities for counseling or psychology that I would be able to utilize for the career I want.