Monica Y., 17 – Funded

Monica Y., a senior at Biloxi High School, plans to pursue a major in business and a biology minor — possibly specializing in neuroscience. She wants to open her own practice in the future. But this Girl on the Rise also wants to travel the world. “I love to experience new cultures and learn about their customs,” she says. But, for now, she has her sights set on Bowdoin College, Pomona College, Emory University, or Washington University in St. Louis as her next chapter.

What is something you are most proud of?

Something I am most proud of is giving back to my community and especially my mother. She has sacrificed so much for me, and it means a lot to lessen her burden and repay her.

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

Yes, I have faced a lot of discrimination based on my gender as well as my race. It has been hard, but instead of growing hateful, I decided to instead forgive them and pray that one day they would grow to love themselves as much as I love myself.

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

To be selected as a Girl on the Rise means that all the hard work my mom put forth to improve my future has paid off. I would not be who I am today without her help — and now I will be able to carve a new pathway for my future.

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

What inspired me to become involved was the opportunity to visit colleges and improve my education without the financial stress that comes along with it.

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 help me reach my goals by allocating the funds needed to not only visit campus, but to experience more of what’s out there without fretting about how I will finance it.

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

I will use the funding to visit Washington University in St. Louis because I would like the chance to experience the university’s culture. Additionally, I would like to see the surrounding area to ensure that this college is one that I am sure of attending.