AFFCF is currently funding 73 college students who aged out of foster care and are attending universities and community colleges statewide. Today, we are pleased to introduce you to Denise, who has some very specific goals for her future.
Throughout my turbulent early life, school was my sanctuary. I was always involved in school activities such as student council, where I served in leadership roles and a mentor program. I loved helping people and gaining knowledge from my experiences with others.
In high school I was involved in Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FFCLA), where I found my love to help young children. During my first years at Central Arizona College (CAC), I applied my passion for helping children into pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. I was fortunate enough to be able to work as a paraprofessional at a local elementary school for three years. This job allowed me to see how a school runs behind the scenes, gain insight for what a teaching career would look like within a governed school district, and most importantly to me, allowed me to work one-on-one with students to help them succeed.
A Different Path Ahead
However, to my surprise while working there, I discovered an interest in occupational therapy. I became increasingly intrigued about this career path as I watched and worked with the occupational therapist at the elementary school. Now in my third year at CAC, I want to continue learning about occupational therapy and how it works. I plan on graduating in May 2020. After earning my associate of arts degree, my goal is to transfer to Arizona State University (ASU) to continue my education. To pursue my career as an occupational therapist, I will need to earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.
While attending ASU, I would like to earn my bachelor’s degree in psychology or kinesiology to lay the groundwork for the knowledge I will need while working with future patients. After graduating ASU with my bachelor’s degree, my goal is to attend to Northern Arizona University (NAU) to earn my master’s degree. At NAU, I plan on applying for their Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program.
I am fully aware that my plan to success will not be an easy one. With guidance from family and friends, perseverance, and my desire to help young children, I am confident that I will have a successful and fulfilling future. I am happy and grateful that there are organizations out there, like the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, who care about me and my well-being. I cannot fully express the joy I had to receive a post-secondary scholarship and the support they provide as I focus on my future.
Help Wanted…and Needed
Right now, our scholars, like Denise, are working to adjust to having all their classes abruptly transition online as in-person classes were suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who were set to graduate in May, as Denise, are dealing with the disappointment of not being able to celebrate this huge accomplishment. Many of our scholarships have a variety of situations. Some students had work-study jobs and have been able to continue to receive payment for the hours they would have worked. Others who work in the service industry are facing unemployment and loss of income.
As things are changing on a daily basis because of COVID-19, one thing remains certain: our scholars still need our help. Now more than ever. You can help by making a foster care tax credit donation. Donate to AFFCF by April 15 and you can receive a credit on your AZ state taxes, up to $500 for an individual and up to $1,000 for couples.