School: Florida State University

Year: Spring 2016-Current

Since I can remember, my education always topped my list of priorities. All throughout high school I would bend over backwards to maintain the high standards I set for myself academically. At first this determinism was instilled in me through the constant and relentless nagging of my parents, but quickly I realized what all my hard work would be going towards: a college education. As I grew older I became more independent in motivating myself to achieve all that I could in high school and open as many doors as I could moving forward into my college career. It came time to apply to universities and my first application sent was for Florida State University. I had received acceptance letters for a couple other schools but I knew I wanted to be a Seminole.

My focus was now solely concentrated on obtaining a higher education, a step I have been preparing to take my entire life. It seemed unreal how close I was to reaching it, but unfortunately this path, like any other, was riddled with road blocks and hurdles. The largest wall to climb appeared to be the financial portion of attending Florida State especially without any eligibility for federal or state aid due to unfortunate circumstances. But up to that point, life had shown me that any mountain, however large and ominous, can be summited and finding a way to fund my education was only an obstacle not a dead end. Housing at FSU is the most substantial expense putting aside tuition.

The Southern Scholarship Foundation was the helping hand I had been looking for to pull me over this hump.

I was incredibly fortunate to have two cousins, Sara and Elisa Gomez, who are current SSF residents as well and were the ones that presented me with this remarkable opportunity to not only take a heavy burden off my family financially, but also an amazing way to learn about myself and others in a community of students all with the same purpose:

to achieve any definition of success they strive for.Sergio headshot

Unfortunately, I learned about SSF too late for me to apply for the fall semester of my freshman year. The first semester in a university setting far from home is a challenge in and of itself but adding the substantial weight of the housing cost proved to be especially difficult, not just for me, but for my family back home. It became clear that if I couldn’t find somewhere else to live then going back home to Orlando would become a real possibility. I didn’t hesitate to apply to SSF as soon as I could for the following semester. After the suspenseful period of waiting I received an acceptance letter stating that I was a recipient of SSF’s housing scholarship and that I would be a future resident at one of their houses in the spring. The weight of a boulder lifted off me and, subsequently, my parents when I told them the good news. Our prayers had been answered!

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

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