Resident: Sophia Belloli
House: MET Pilot

Hello! My name is Sophia Belloli and I am the Media Coordinator at MET Pilot Scholarship House in Gainesville, Florida, as well as one of the Ambassadors for Central Florida SSF (2019-2020). I am a proud first-generation student, now in my second year at the University of Florida and in SSF. I am studying dietetics as I have a strong passion for nutrition, and I am aiming to become a registered dietician. I also am working on a Spanish minor since the Spanish language plays a huge role in my life and is part of my identity. I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, and went to Dr. Phillips High School.

At first when I got accepted at UF, I was happy that I had been accepted to one of the top universities in the nation, and I was beyond grateful that I had been accepted into my dream school. But simultaneously, I grew anxious at the fact that I might not be able to go as I couldn’t afford the costs. I was fresh out of high school and a top graduate, yet I was so nervous for this new chapter of my life because it was filled with so much uncertainty. I applied to many, MANY, scholarships, pulled a few all-nighters here and there since I wanted to make sure all my scholarship essays were perfect, but unfortunately none were given to me. Out of the blue, Southern Scholarship Foundation came along. I found it at the bottom of the list out of all the scholarships. I gave it one last time to apply and I did, and how grateful am I that I did.

I would have never imagined I would find a home away from home. SSF has made my experience enjoyable and fun. Not only was I able to attend UF without worrying about money, I was able to find a community where I am welcomed. All the smiles and the laughter and the fun moments I’ve had with all the people here, I couldn’t have found that anywhere else. Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. I am grateful to have a support system that motivates me to keep going strong.