“I don’t know but I hope so.” – Mayra Damian

School: Florida State University

Year: Fall 2013 – Current

House: Sam & Eula Lastinger Scholarship House (2013-2015) & Dr. Grace I. Fox Scholarship House (2015 – 2016)

Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it.

“Mayra, will you be continuing on to getting your bachelor’s degree?” asked my sociology professor after I graduated with my associates from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. I wanted to reply that I would, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to afford it. I simply replied “I don’t know but I hope so.” He encouraged me by saying “You need to. You are a very bright student and will accomplish a lot in life.” In my heart, I was hoping to continue my education. I applied for as many scholarships as I could, including the scholarships offered at FSU. I knew that if I worked hard and truly believed in myself, everything would work out.

My family is from Guerrero, Mexico and I am the third child of three offspring. Sadly, my parents never had the opportunity to complete their education, due to a lack of money. My mother was only able to complete elementary school; however, my father was able to complete middle school. My parents have been doing migrant farm labor since coming to the United States in 1980. Our family makes a living from picking tomatoes, squash, bell peppers, and eggplant under the hot sun earning minimum wage. Watching my parents struggle in this manner gives me the determination to complete my education and open different doors for my own life.

Mayra Damian Photo23
Mayra & her father

My dream is to make a difference in people’s lives in caring and supportive way.  Social work has always been a career I have found interest in, especially working with adolescents. My life purpose is to serve, assist, and influence at-risk, endangered and neglected adolescents. While working with all nationalities as a social worker, I want serve the community by guiding and counseling teenagers to take the right path to a promising future.

My father is unable to assist me financially; therefore it would be difficult to continue my education without a scholarship.  When I learned that I was awarded the Southern Scholarship Foundation scholarship, I was extremely happy. Being part of the SSF family is the best thing that has happened to me. From the first time I walked in to the main office for my initial interview, I noticed the friendly atmosphere. I was greeted with smiles and hugs.

Mayra Damian Photo3
Lastinger Houser – Fall 2014

Living in a house with so many girls is an amazing experience. I met some really interesting ladies. At SSF, I always have someone there to talk to me. When I feel discouraged, my housemates always help me move forward and encourage me to keep going. My housemates and I are a team where we help each other proofread papers, take care of each other when we are sick and make life that much better. At SSF, I’ve made and continue to make beautiful memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Thanks to this scholarship, I am a step closer to earning my Master’s degree in social work and making great friends in the process. “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”, says my SSF heart.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for you to be a part of Mayra’s, and many others, Education for Life journey.

Learn more here: http://bit.ly/SSFSponsorship

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