Yesenia, 18 – Funded

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Engineering is on Yesenia Valeria Abonce’s mind. The Grandview Senior High School senior graduates in May 2019, and she has big dreams on her mind. She wants to attend the Massachusetts Institution of Technology or the University of Missouri as the next step in her goal of becoming a chemical or mechanical engineer.

What is something you are most proud of?

I am most proud of the help I am getting to accomplish my dreams. I am also proud of the encouragement I am receiving, which helps me to keep moving forward and not give up.

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

Yes, I’ve been through a lot of challenges. Some challenges I handled on my own and some I looked to support from others.

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

To me, it means so much. This program is going to help me a lot because I finally get to visit the college of my dreams. It’s also giving me even more hope that, one day, I will succeed and be who I always wanted to be.

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

Sue, my Big Sister [from Big Brothers Big Sisters], did. She helps me with everything to accomplish my goals.

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’s important for me because I feel like visiting my dream college will really help push me more than ever to accomplish my goals and dreams.

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

I will be visiting MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] because it’s pretty much one of the best engineering schools around and I’ve always wanted to go there to pursue my dreams.