Name: Ugochi Nnaji

School: Florida State University

Year: Fall 2014 – Present


I truly believed that it was a blessing from God that I found SSF in my senior year of high school. As the oldest of triplets my mom always told my brother, sister and I that she could not pay for all of us to attend college so it was up to the three of us to make the necessary grades and GPA to get our schooling paid for.When it came time to apply to universities and get college plans in order, it seemed like not even our good grades and high academic achievements could pull us through financially. As I looked at and added up the cost of living on campus and tuition, the reality of what my mom had been telling us really set in. Each of us began a frantic search for any kind of scholarship we could find to make it through, what was then, the next four years of my life.

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We applied for scholarship after scholarship to no avail and I became a little discouraged. Were we dreaming? Was this even possible? I really started to hate the fact that money had to have the final say in everything. In another disheartened search online, I happened to come across the southern scholarship foundation; I read through the description thinking this almost sounded too good to be true: rent-free housing, a one-time payment per semester, with food included?! I let my brother and sister know immediately, this was how we were going to be able to attend college.

My brother & sister packed their bags for UF and I packed my bags for FSU and we were off to live out this dream.

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Fast forward two years later to the present, I am now in my fourth semester as a college student. I have experienced many ups and downs in the past two years, such as becoming an Orientation Leader and the bittersweet moment of changing my major, but nothing has been better than having my Pilot family to share these memories with.

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Living in SSF and serving as House Manager for this semester has already proved to be extremely rewarding in a number of fashions. Being a House Manager isn’t about being in charge or being the boss, but it’s an opportunity to grow and make a positive impact on your house. I have developed a drive for my house to be running smoothly and also for my residents to be living comfortably.

Each day I learn a new definition of the SSF motto “Education for Life.”

But the one that sticks with me the most is: the myriad of un-teachable life lessons and experiences provided through community living that contribute to our overall personal growth and development as young adults. The Southern Scholarship Foundation has provided more for me than daily meals and a place to live, it’s my home and I am truly grateful and blessed to call myself an SSFer!

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Sponsorship opportunities are available for you to be a part of Ugochi’s, and many others, Education for Life journey.

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