When I came enrolled in VCU there were a lot of “what ifs.” As a first-generation, low-income student I almost didn’t enroll in VCU. There were a lot of questions going through my mind, “how will I pay for my tuition?”, “will I even be accepted into the nursing school?”, “How will I pay off my loans?” and so much more. All these thoughts almost made me choose George Mason University, which is ten minutes away from my house or almost Northern Virginia Community College. When I was at home I felt like those were my only two options to achieve higher education. The school I really wanted to go to was VCU, I wanted a different experience for college, I didn’t want to stay in the same area I have spent the last 18 years in. But the stresses of how I would pay for college ran through my mind, day and night I was filled with anxiety and slowly May 1st was creeping in. Everyone would announce the school they were attending and I was stressed and scared. I decided to take a leap of faith and accept the opportunity VCU was offering me and I don’t regret it one bit. After accepting I was sent an email from a group called TRIO (it doesn’t stand for anything). “TRIO is a federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.” (U.S Department of Education) TRIO offered a summer bridge program that allowed me to stay at VCU over the summer for a week, during the entire week I was informed about all the resources VCU offers to their students. I met new people from different background and parts of Virginia, I made new friends and connections. We had group activities and were able to experience some of the college life before we really started college. After the week was over I returned home, I was sad to say goodbye to everyone but I was even more excited to return in the fall to begin my freshman year. The time I have been at VCU has shown me how many more opportunities there are available to me. I have volunteered at the MCV campus at the NICU. TRIO introduced me to a program called GR-ACY and now I am volunteering for the program in the hospital. TRIO has offered me so much supported throughout the first semester and will guide me the next (hopefully) three years.
More info about TRIO!