My story is a very unique one that I haven’t told many of my peers. I grew up with eleven siblings and sixteen people living in one household. The expenses were greater than many other families that I have come across over the years.

Even though it was a great expense, there was plenty of love to go around. With so many mouths to feed, my parents were not quite sure how every child would get a good education.

If not for our uncle who told us of Academy Prep in Tampa, my siblings and I would not be where we are today. The scholarship from Step Up for Students put me and my oldest siblings through school, and it continues to provide for my younger siblings.

This was the best decision my family made, because it gave my siblings and I a chance to be successful. My oldest two brothers set the example for the rest of us to follow.

“This was the best decision my family made, because it gave my siblings and I a chance to be successful”

My brothers graduated from Jesuit High School in 2013 and went on to graduate from University of South Florida and University of Central Florida in 2017 and 2018. One brother is now a mechanical engineer at an engineering firm in Clear Water, and the other is planning on going to medical school. My third oldest brother also graduated from Jesuit High School and is studying to become a chemical engineer at Florida State University

Coming after my three brothers, I knew the road to success was going to be very demanding, but I also knew what it would take. I graduated from Tampa Catholic High School in May of 2017 and I am now attending Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, studying to be a food scientist and an agricultural engineer.

My family was blessed in so many ways and it brings me to tears knowing the sacrifices my two immigrant parents made for my siblings and I to be great people in society. I will never stop thanking Step Up for Students for what they have done and continue to do for students around the country.