Every week I receive scholarship applications from deserving HALO youth from around the world. These youth have grown up in our homes, receiving basic needs and a lot of care. The big question comes when the kids get older and are ready to move from secondary school into college or vocational training. What next? Before HALO, most of these kids would not have even thought of college as an option at all. But we let all our kids know if you do well in primary and secondary school (elementary school & high school) you will be eligible to apply for a scholarship. Work hard, and good things will come, right?
So far we have been able to give a scholarship to our eligible youth who have applied, with the generous support form an organization called the Woodland Foundation and generous HALO donors. We received great news from Woodland 2 years ago when they offered to give a matching $1,000 scholarship to any HALO donor who signed up to become a HALO Hero. Without this opportunity, we would not have been able to start our scholarship program and I truly believe this opportunity has and will be the difference in our kids’ lives to prevent them from ending up back in poverty.
When I read over the scholarship applications, which include an essay portion, I am amazed at the amount of our kids who have the goal of not only improving their own life through the scholarship, but the lives of their family and community.
One example comes to mind in Rehema, a girl from the Mengo Home in Kampala, Uganda:
Rehema has been living in the Mengo Home for 4 years. She is currently 18 years old and is the first of 5 children. Rehema and her siblings lost their parents at a young age and have been relying on their grandmother who has cancer and is unable to care for them. Rehema is extremely compassionate and plans to attend nursing school to assist her grandmother. When asked why she would be a good candidate for the scholarship, Rehema answered “Given the fact that the only person I have to support me is my grandmother and yet she is not in a position to support me. I have the passion to support my nation and I believe through this course I will be able to serve and influence many people and my family as well. I will be grateful if considered. If I finish this course I will work hard and open up my own clinic where by I will be able to support my people and also I will able to treat my grandmother of cancer.”
I’m proud to say Rehema has been granted a scholarship from HALO to attend nursing school. She is one of many amazing stories I get to read when I go through the scholarship applications. The best thing about my job is saying yes to these kids.
I want to be able to say yes to each of these deserving youth. Unfortunately, that may not always be the case. Our generous opportunity to receive matching scholarships for HALO youth ends December 31st, 2012. We have the potential to receive 40 more HALO Heroes in that time frame. Please help me say ‘yes’ to more HALO youth by becoming a HALO Hero and by sharing the opportunity with your friends and family. I can’t think of a better Christmas gift to share.