Patience M. – FUNDED

“Just like the title of this scholarship, I have 1,000 dreams,” says Patience M. This go-getter and 1,000 Dreams Fund Scholarship recipient will be attending law school at the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis to run after some of those goals.

What is your professional dream?

I would like to have professional impact in three areas of law: government, corporate, and legal academia. My goal is to influence and create policy that enhances the outcomes of all clients — especially the indigent and marginalized.

How will you use the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship?

Mostly, I will use the scholarship to purchase textbooks. Many classes will require the most current edition of each textbook, so there is little room for discounts or shortcuts in this department!

How is this scholarship helping you get closer to your dream?

Having spent time as an educator and non-profit advocate, I found myself doing generally rewarding work that was not so rewarding on the financial side! This scholarship will lighten the burden as I start a new educational journey — just when it is needed the most! Knowing that I can cross something significant off my roster of costs allows me to forgo financial woes, celebrate my achievement, and “be in the moment” during this exciting, new stage!

What advice do you have for other young women who are wanting to pursue their dreams?

Do not let fear paralyze you. Save that reaction to actors in B-film horror movies!

Instead, embrace the fear and know that if you fail, you are failing FORWARD. Having a lot of financial and personal obstacles in my journey caused me to hide from my missteps, lick my wounds, and hide my light under a bushel. Though I was successful in one measure, I was fearful that I could — and would — never achieve my dream.

One day, I was simply done with letting fear be my solace. I decided that if I was to fail— to truly experience what I had been dreading — I would have to actually “try” first. I realized that if I failed, I would be no worse off than now. But on the other side…. another possibility… complete joy, self-efficacy and success.

I went after my dream — worked harder, jumped farther, and took just the amount of time that I needed — and landed in a place that surpassed all expectations. I am free of fear, and my freedom is boundless.

I hope my achievements inspire others to let go and let their faith (in whatever they believe in–including themselves) be their guide.

“As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson

​Have you had any setbacks? How did you move past them?

From my youth of growing up in abject poverty to homelessness to illnesses to untimely deaths, I have dealt with plenty of social, professional, and financial setbacks. As cliché as it sounds, I got through them by “going through them.”

I dealt with my setbacks as practically, resourcefully, and creatively as possible. I pivoted and found areas where my talents would be appreciated and utilized appropriately. I became self-reliant. I did research, read, asked questions, shadowed people I aspire to be, and made my own plans.

I tried to be as realistic and honest with myself and my assessments; I celebrated what I had and did right, and I sought what I needed to learn and did not quite have mastered. I kept moving — even if it was a step back or a lateral move. Eventually, I moved forward.

You cannot “wish” a mountain out of your path, or cry or hide or cower until it dissipates. It won’t. You simply must get around, over, or through it. Because you will. Being on this side of my biggest dream, I can attest!

What’s next for you? What is your next goal?

My next goal is to academically master my first year of law school. The process of law school is not one that begins easily and ramps up gently in incremental difficulty. It starts off like a rocket and, if done well, acquiesces into a softer landing.

Achieving my goal (if you will forgive the analogy) will be akin to holding on well enough to burst through the atmosphere, then enjoying the view from space while freely exploring legal opportunities.

I will know if (when) I succeed when I land a summer job that is compatible with my long-term goals. As a “co-goal,” I will seek leadership opportunities to engage women and youth in exploring their dreams, as I want to be a person that “lifts as I climb.”