Name: Isabella Silva Santos
House: Polk

I was born in Goiania, Goias in Brazil, but lived most of my life in Sao Paulo. When I was 12 years old, my parents decided to move to the United States to pursue a better life for our family. I arrived here without knowing any English, but with the help of my local public school and my yearn to succeed I was able to thrive as a person. It has always been my dream to go to college and be able to say that I graduated. However, it can become trick finding the finances to make your dreams come true. It is with the help of people like the Southern Scholarship Foundation that I am where I am today. If not for the help of this scholarship, I would have never been able to afford to live so close to campus and the many other amazing things I receive from this scholarship. Here I have many wonderful souls and many of my closest friends. Every day I know that the second I walk through the doors, someone will be there to greet me and to talk about my day.

Polk House has a special place in my heart, because of the special hearts that live here: from binge watching Stranger Things, to late night talks, laughs, and cries. This house has seen me grow from the small amount of time that I have been here. As well as shaped me to listen more and say less. Everyone in this house has a story to tell and the second you open yourself up to listen to others, beautiful things happen. When I look back to the beginning of my junior year at Florida State University, it is hard to remember that I did not know anyone at this campus. For that I have a lot to thank the Southern Scholarship Foundation for that. Southern Scholarship Foundation gave me more than a place to live, they gave me a home. I love my small family in this big pond that Florida State can be. I have been able to hold leadership positions in the house and continue to grow as a person. This semester, I am the social chair of my house and I help create the events that helped me meet my friends for new and old residents. Today as a 21-year-old SSF has given me a chance to be great, and I hope that one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals, just as this foundation has helped me.
This is an open love letter to SSF and Polk house.
Thank you for believing in me, always!