Lavender, 16 – Funded

Lavender has a career in medicine in her sights, as she wants to work towards a cardiology or radiology track. In the meantime, she’s finishing out her junior year at Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School in Washington D.C. while thinking about college at one of her dream schools — University of Maryland, Central Connecticut State, and Columbia University — where she’ll study biology and chemistry.

What is something you are most proud of?

I’m proud of my strong will to participate and lead.

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

After moving into a shelter, I had to adapt to living in a motel and not having the same luxuries as someone who has a house. I had to fight over what was mine and barely even have my own privacy as pre-teen. What kept me motivated was my minority scholars program in middle school which made me feel included and part of something that could benefit me.

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

It means that I have paved a way for younger girls to show them there are more outlets for resources than they may believe.

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

The feeling I felt in minority scholars, I wanted to feel again — to feel like I’m part of something.

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?

I want to be able to see where I’m going to live, work, and dedicate my life for four years. I’d like to see if it is the right environment for me and a place I can settle in for this chunk of my life.

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

I would definitely like to see a few out-of-state schools because they are in places I haven’t been; I would love to see how those places contrast with my life here. These visits could also give me a heads-up if the place isn’t somewhere I’d be comfortable.