Dear Compass Award Team and the Community Support for Students Program,
The Compass Award has immensely impacted both my academic and personal life in ways that I am truly grateful for. While being a senior in high school and coming from an immigrant family who struggled with financial, and health issues, money was something that constantly lingered in my mind. My family had always prioritized education over money, and insisted that I don’t work part time jobs so I could put all my time and effort into school. I never wanted to burden my family with having to pay for school as well as my daily needs. I wanted to be independent and afford things myself so I could put less stress on my parents paying for everything, except, I couldn’t exactly do all that if I’m stuck putting all my attention into grades. The act of living can be very expensive. Simple things such as food, clothing, transportation, or school supplies all add up in the end. The Compass Award helped me pay for many of these things as well as save for the future. They also helped me pay partially for a math tutor and buy my G1 driver’s license. I felt like I could breathe a little bit after the Compass Award, and it definitely took some weight off my parent’s shoulders.
Before I had gotten the Compass Award, my mental health had been detorrioting due to my personal life and the suffocating amount of course work from school. I was carrying a lot on my shoulders and often had feelings of hopelessness and giving up on school. However, during this time period, I had gotten news that I had won the Compass Award. In that moment, I felt that all of the endless all nighters I spent, all the social interactions I missed out on for school, all the “I can’t, I have to study”, all the coffee, Red Bull, sleep deprivation, eye bags, blood, sweat and physical tears dedicated towards school was finally being acknowledged by something more than just a percentage grade. The Compass Award could not have been awarded to me at a better time because I took this award as the light at the end of this very dark tunnel I was lost in. Through all of the stress and anxiety that I was enduring in my personal life, the Compass Award reminded me that I had come so far and couldn’t give up now. It has pushed me to break past my limits and to this day, it remains a symbol of my great potential.
From my family and I, thank you to the Compass Award Team and the Community Support for Students Program. As I advance in my career, I will never forget your kindness.