Good morning ladies and gentlemen, my name is Armonium. I am a senior at Aurora Central High school and a Boys Hope Girls Hope Academy scholar. I am one of the many students that Boys Hope Girls Hope has made a great impact on, so on behalf of my fellow scholars I’d like to thank you for being here today and supporting Boys Hope Girls Hope.
I am originally from Ethiopia and when my family moved to the United States, I was only 11 years old. I knew little to no English when I first arrived, but I worked tirelessly to learn English and even taught myself correct pronunciation in my free time. My parents have always instilled in me that education comes first. However, because of the language barrier, I didn’t have the best grades in middle school compared to my classmates. Despite the numbers on my transcript, Boys Hope Girls Hope admitted me into their program taking into consideration my hard work and dedication. Now, four years later, I’m doing well in school! I am taking college level classes and am even maintaining above a 4.0 GPA. However, because I didn’t learn English until I was in middle school, I still have certain struggles in school especially with my reading and writing. Boys Hope Girls Hope not only helps me with these struggles but they encourage me to challenge myself by taking harder classes in order to prepare myself for college. The 2 extra hours of AP Chemistry homework aren’t too fun right now- but I know Sarah was right!
Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to become some kind of a doctor. Last year, in 11th grade, I was accepted into a competitive medical program for high school students, called MC². MC²stands for “Medical Career Collaborative” and it is a paid internship at Children’s Hospital Colorado. This program gave me the opportunity to work in the hospital while shadowing technicians and doctors. It was an amazing experience, and now I am certain that I want to become a Cardiologist in the future. In fact, it was Boys Hope Girls Hope that introduced me to MC² and as I applied to the program, the Boys Hope Girls Hope staff helped me fill out my application and edit my essay.
Boys Hope Girls Hope has helped me become a well-rounded individual. They have instilled values in me such as the importance of community service and leadership. The other scholars and I have been given many opportunities to volunteer… such as cleaning up parks and planting trees; showing us the importance of giving back to our community. Thanks to Boys Hope Girls Hope I even got the chance to travel to Michigan to participate in a leadership camp. I loved that opportunity because I got to meet new friends from all over the country, some of who I am still in contact with today. We did a lot of team building activities at camp. We also learned different ways to lead… and not to brag or anything, but apparently I am a great leader…when I’m not goofing around.
Now that I’m a senior, my focus is my education beyond high school. I just finished applying to colleges last week and So far, I’ve been accepted to University Of Colorado Denver and University of Colorado Boulder. I am still waiting to hear back from two other colleges before I make my decision on where I go. Now I am working on many, many scholarship applications. Once again, the Boys Hope Girls Hope staff members are right by my side encouraging me to apply to any scholarship I can. I am hoping to go into a pre-medical track, taking me one step closer to my dream of becoming a cardiologist. I’d like to thank everyone again for your support of Boys Hope Girls Hope and scholars like me. It is because of this program that I know I will not only walk across the stage in May to receive my high school diploma, but someday I will earn my medical degree and be able to save lives.
**Armonium gave this speech at the 2017 Success Starts with Hope Breakfast on October 4, 2017.