Meet Jessica, an awe-inspiring young woman attending Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Jessica is a current sophomore majoring in Psychology with the hopes of attending graduate school after obtaining her Bachelor’s. Jessica is an alumna of the foster care system, and joined Together We Rise as a student in the Family Fellowship Program in the summer of 2016. The Family Fellowship Program is an intensive scholarship program that provides financial and emotional support to youth aging out of foster care and attending college.
In the program for less than a year, Jessica has already exhibited tremendous personal and academic growth, mostly thanks to her unmatched ambition, but partially thanks to the Family Fellowship Program. Speaking about the program, Jessica said, “I have not felt alone since I joined the Together We Rise Family. I know for a fact my TWR family wants the best for me in life academically, mentally, and psychically. Therefore If I ever feel alone or simply need someone to talk to I know exactly who to call with no hesitation.” Feeling this level of support, Jessica has made a commitment to community service. In December, she had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Guatemala with the Orphan Outreach program. While in Guatemala she attended several different locations such as Guatemalan Association of Down Syndrome, Good Shepherd Christian Academy, and the Little House of Refuge Orphanage. She went to each location to throw a Christmas party with pizza, Mr & Mrs Clause pinatas, music, dancing and gifts. Jessica continued her community service on her campus by participating in “Mulch Madness,” a day long Arbor Day event where she helped plant trees at her university. She is also planning on attending, “All Paws In,” which is a volunteer initiative at Sam Houston State University that was started in 2010. Through service-oriented activities, “All Paws In” promotes campus and community unity as students come together for one day to express their gratitude for the support from the surrounding community. Jessica talks about community service in a very impassioned way. She notes that through her experience surviving foster care, the opportunity she has had to travel to Guatemala, and her support from Together We Rise, the least she could do is commit herself to at least three community service events a semester. Aside from finding a new passion for community enrichment, Jessica has also found a renewed passion for school. She takes full advantage of the resources provided by the Family Fellowship Program by attending several hours of tutoring a week, and reaching out to our Scholarship Coordinator when she needs advice or to celebrate her increasingly high test scores. Jessica mentions that she has not felt this fire and passion for academics since high school, but now is setting her sights on a graduate degree. Jessica is bound to do great things, and we’re just lucky enough to be a small part of her success story.
See more on Jessica’s story here: