ria reno“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful” – Eric Thomas. A family saying in my household, encouraging my sister and me into becoming great students in all forms of schooling. Back in 2012, my mom first told me about this when I was going through a rough time completing a school year. Since then, this quote is the reason I finished senior year, and continue to push harder.

I am a native Detroiter. Even though Detroit will always and forever be in my heart, I have to go a separate way to continue a better life. I was educated at Cornerstone Washington Parks Academy then graduated from Cass Technical High School. At Cass, I was involved in many groups, clubs, ensembles, and community services. I took on leadership positions in the orchestra as First Chair Cellist and President of NAACP the Cass Tech Chapter, the only high school chapter in the city. I was a member of the Harp and Vocal Ensemble, and National Honor Society. I was a full AP/IB student taking on rigorous courses and advance testing. Still I managed to graduate with a 3.2 GPA furthering my school in the Fall.

In Fall 2018, I will be transitioning to Central Michigan University, majoring in Exercise Science Kinesiology on the Pre-Physician Assistant Track. I want to be a neurologist because of my grandfather. Since 1987, he has been suffering with seizures and there is no reason or systems on why he continues to have them. My family is now prepared for when seizures occur, but in April my grandad suffered from a stroke and it is still impacting my family. Since then, he has gotten much better, but things will never be the same. If I become a neurologist, then I can attempt to make history to prevent traumas like this to other families.

I will be taking this scholarship and using it to go towards my books and part of my tuition so my balance can be less than usual when it comes to my monthly payments.

I am thankful for this scholarship because it's nice to know my neighborhood is the only neighborhood in Detroit to be helping their college kids. When I have a goal, I need to achieve it regardless of how much work needs to be put in place. My late great-grandmother used to tell me “nothing is free and life is challenging but only the winners will figure out how to beat the obstacles.” I am young, but I am learning how to beat the odds and go onto be the person I was meant to be. Every little step is getting me closer and all the help put into place will further my life.