Kendra J., 17 – Funded

“The Girls on the Rise program is one of my ‘some way, somehows’ to get to where I want to be in the future and I am forever grateful!” says Kendra J., a junior at Alabama Connections Academy. She’s interested in three main categories of study — marine biology/geology science; business and entrepreneurship; and liberal and fine arts — potentially at one of her top-pick schools like The Juilliard School, Harvard, Savannah State University, University of North Alabama, or University of South Alabama.

What is something you are most proud of?

I am most proud of my recent accomplishments, my drive to be part of things, and consistently improving myself to be the woman I want to be.

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

I have been through plenty of tough things, but I’ve learned during those times that the world will never stop for you. Life will and must go on whether you like it or not. But time can be one of the best healers. Some things I haven’t healed from completely, but I’ve just learned to coexist with them for now. I do hope, one day, I can say I am free and healed from everything, though.

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

It fills me with gratitude and excitement! I am so intrigued to see how this program will fit into my life’s story and where it will take me.

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

The mission and cause of the program in general is great and I believe this will be a great experience and opportunity.

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 will provide me with the tools necessary to contribute to my college dreams and goals. It is a step in the process of getting there and blesses me with a hands-on experience. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve had to hold off on because of finances. But I know, with patience, I will get there some way somehow.

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

I will use the funds to visit my top dream schools — those schools that feel out of reach to me or maybe a little on the “unrealistic side ” in my head. I hope being able to visit these schools will break my mental barriers and push me to believe that I could be a student there — just like all of the other students — and that I am good enough!