This month, Hopeworks awarded the first two scholarships to interns who are now Townsend Scholars. Monica Perez-Reyes and Leaundra McCullough (Lily) are two GIS interns at very different levels of their college careers. Lily applied for the Townsend Scholars because she is incredibly motivated to earn her Associate’s Degree in December 2017 but needed the funds to cover summer classes that would not be paid by the EOF program at Camden County College. For Monica, this will be her first semester in college and with the help of the Townsend Scholars, the award is helping make her dreams come true.
From the time that Monica first started with Hopeworks, she has openly shared her drive to enroll in college. Her determination was undeniable. However, she faced a lot of challenges that made it feel like an impossible goal. When asked to reflect on her feelings as a newly awarded Townsend Scholar, she shares, “my motivation for applying was knowing that there was a possibility to be financially supported to go to college. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude, but also like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. One of my challenges enrolling into school involved my citizenship. Since I am under DACA, there is a limited amount of scholarships and I am unable to receive financial aid. This scholarship will allow me to focus on school without the worry of wondering how I will pay my way through. My dream is to pursue illustration but to also help people by having a career in the mental health profession. College will help me reach these goals and the Townsend Scholarship is the reason why I am confident that I will become an Art Therapist in my future.”