By Jacqueline Martinez, senior at Ánimo Watts College Preparatory Academy
I will never forget the day the acceptance package came. In that moment, I was overcome with relief, empowerment, and tremendous gratitude just knowing all those difficult days and long nights were not in vain. I grew up working with my parents, cleaning a movie theater from 1:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. every weekend and summer vacation since I was 11.
The most profound and important education I have received has ironically not been in the classroom, but has come from pushing myself through countless nights of heavy eyes, midnight coffee runs, and backaches. As cheesy as it may be, my acceptance package reminded me of a quote from a Spiderman movie: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
As a low income, first generation college student, I know the struggle, too well. Fortunately I was awarded the Mork Family Scholarship, a full tuition scholarship and living stipend. The scholarship is awarded to 10 students each year, and recipients are selected by University of Southern California (USC) faculty and staff from an extremely competitive international pool and interview panel. Being a recipient of such a scholarship means that I have much more of a responsibility to leave a lasting impact on the USC campus and the world.