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Ashley, Academy Scholar, Aurora Central High School, Class of 2018

College is one of the major things that has been on my mind ever since I first heard about it in elementary school. The only problem was I had no idea how I was going to get there. Throughout my middle school years, I did the only thing that I was told would help me – get good grades. Once I got to high school, I stayed along with my first plan of getting good grades, hoping someway somehow a college would notice me and take me in. Of course, I should’ve known that it wouldn’t work like that.

Toward the end of my freshman year, I heard about a program called Boys Hope Girls Hope. I was told that the program would help me get into college. I applied for the program, thinking that I would not get in. I was embarrassingly shy, and knew nothing about how to get into the program. My interview went terribly, as my voice kept breaking and my face continuously turned red, but they accepted me anyway! I was so shocked. I hugged a friend of mine who was already in the program and we danced around in happiness.

Flash-forward to my senior year, and the time for college applications actually came. I didn’t have a single idea of where to start. Just thinking about college was enough to send me in to an anxious mess. BHGH always managed to find a way to make me breathe, calm down, and slowly finish the whole application process. The day that I finally submitted the applications made me want to weep in joy. I felt so proud of myself, and everyone at BHGH was excited for me. It wasn’t long until I got several huge envelopes in the mail. Big envelopes only mean good news, just like in the movies, right? I opened my first one up, slowly pulled the letter out, and read the first line.

        Dear Ashley,

        We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted! Congratulations!

My hand flew to my mouth, not quite believing what I was reading. I actually got accepted into a college! This moment was what I had been waiting for my whole life. As I continued to read the acceptance letter, I kept thinking back to that first day I found out I got accepted into Boys Hope Girls Hope. The same pure excitement raced throughout my body, and I couldn’t help showing it as I danced around my living room.

As of today, I have been accepted into all five colleges that I have applied to, four of which have offered me scholarships. Some of these scholarships include the Northern Colorado Provost Scholarship from UNC and the Distinguished Scholars Award from Colorado Mesa University. I’m still waiting to hear back from the last college to see if I received any scholarships from them. Either way, I have finally achieved the goal that ten-year-old me had set out to do all those years ago. None of this would have been possible if not for Boys Hope Girls Hope. Because of them, I get to live my childhood dream and go to college! Thank you for making this possible!