Name: Megan Gerrard
School: Florida State University
House: Polk Scholarship House
Year: Spring 2015 – Current
If my future- self told me that I would be at The Florida State University living in the Southern Scholarship Foundation five years ago, I never would have believed it. Going away to a four year university was something that I never thought was possible because of my financial situation and also because of my past academic history.
I grew up In Central Florida my entire life, and never expected to leave until I had my degree.
During high school I was a part of the dual enrollment program, but did not fully take advantage of the “free college” part of it. All throughout my high school years I would somewhat coast through my classes, paying more attention to the sports and extracurricular activities after school than making sure my grades were where they should be.
It wasn’t until after high school that I realized that I needed to get my grades up or I wouldn’t be able to get into the college that I wanted. Before I received my acceptance letter to FSU, I was attending a local community college very close to my house and was living at home. With most of my friends leaving for college and me feeling like I never left high school, I decided that I was either going to get my grades up, or be stuck there for a while and not excel. So after about a year at the college, I maintained straight “A’s” for the last three semesters that I would be enrolled there!
Having above a 3.0 grade average, I decided to apply to my dream school, Florida State, and pray that I would be accepted. After waiting about three months for everything to process, I got an email saying that I had been accepted into FSU and was confirmed into the College of Fine Arts. I was so excited and astonished that I even started crying! All of the hard work that I had put in the last two years had paid off. The next component that I had to figure out was the living situation.
Having the admission letter wouldn’t mean anything if I had nowhere to live.
I heard about SSF from my brother who had lived here for almost five years during his time at FSU. After learning about the rent free living and benefits that SSF had to offer, I decided to apply for the scholarship. Unfortunately, the first time I applied for the fall semester I was put on the waiting list and was not able to live here. I was pretty disappointed because I thought that I wasn’t able to attend the school. However, after about a week my mom told me some very exciting news: My grandmother had offered to pay for my first semester of housing to live on campus.
Upon hearing the news that my gracious grandmother would pay for my first semester’s housing bill I was overly ecstatic, but I knew that if I didn’t get into SSF for the spring, I would likely have to come home. So after my first amazing semester at FSU, I applied for a second time to SSF. After about two weeks Barby emailed me saying that they had an opening in one of the houses. I was awarded the scholarship! Words cannot describe how happy I was to be able to stay at FSU and earn my degree.
The Southern Scholarship Foundation has blessed me in more ways than one. I am now able to live rent-free and not have to worry about all the housing expenses that I would have if I had not been awarded this scholarship. In addition, I have learned about responsibility and cooperativeness and how to live with many other people. I have also met some of my closest friends from living in SSF. I thank God and SSF everyday for the privileges that have come from working hard and persevering.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for you to be a part of Megan’s, and many others, Education for Life journey.
Learn more here: http://bit.ly/SSFSponsorship