Savannah is a 2017 Eastern Washington University Graduate and 2013 Governors’ Scholar.
What a difference four years can make. In 2013, I came to Make It Happen! as a brand-new high school graduate. Afterward, I knew I wanted to return as a counselor, and this year, I got to do just that. Revisiting the program brought memories of my own Make It Happen experience flooding back.
I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at Make It Happen! in 2013. The first day on campus, I met students from all over Washington state who had received the Governors’ Scholarship for Foster Youth.
As a foster youth, I sometimes felt isolated, and I’d lost friends in the past who couldn’t relate to my life and didn’t understand why I moved so often. At Make It Happen!, I met people who shared my life experiences, which was new, different and completely amazing. It wasn’t all socializing, though. I also attended workshops that helped prepare me for college—teaching me how to reapply for financial aid, renew my scholarships, access campus resources, connect with academic advisors and build a support network.
“So many students share the struggles I experienced growing up. At Make it Happen!, I met people who shared my life experiences, which was new, different and completely amazing.”
This years’ experience as a counselor at Make It Happen! was an entirely different adventure. Attending workshops with the students and watching them share their stories helped remind me that so many students share the struggles I experienced growing up. I enjoyed watching the kids connect, gain confidence and grow over the three days as we guided them through workshops on financial aid and scholarship eligibility, college-level academics and how to succeed in college.
I’m excited for these students as they begin college this fall. Sooner than they know, they’ll be where I am, a new college graduate starting a career and reflecting with gratitude on the gift offered by Make It Happen!: The opportunity to begin college prepared, energized, and supported, with the priceless knowledge that they are not alone.