During College Possible Omaha’s Caps Off community appreciation event last month, Shania, a Northwest High School senior, was honored as one of the keynote speakers. Shania is a driven student with a strong desire to bring positive changes to her community. At the event, she captivated the audience with this speech and laid out ambitious plans for the future. Her inspiring story left a lasting impression on everyone in attendance, and she was applauded for her passion and dedication towards making a meaningful difference in her community.
Good evening, everyone. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story with you all today. My name is Shania, and I am a senior at Northwest High School. This fall I will be attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to attend the College of Business and major in marketing and advertising. I wish to pursue a degree in this field to boost and escalate Hispanic and Latino businesses all around the U.S., starting right here in Omaha. In addition to my academic goals, I have also found a place in the wrestling community; I have been a manager for the Northwest High School wrestling team for the past four years and will continue to be a student manager for Husker wrestling in the fall.
Like many immigrant families, my family moved to the U.S. in hopes of a better income, education, and a better life. My parents always encouraged me to focus on my education and kept me from worrying about financial concerns or things a child should not be responsible for. So, I did just that. I buried my nose in books and extracurriculars in the hope that I would make my parents and family back home proud. I have been in the honors track since the sixth grade, started taking APs in high school, became an officer in every club I joined, and a district-wide example of what a graduate should be. I have the privilege of standing here as senior class president, representing my class with pride each day. I am also the vice president of my National Honor Society chapter and a student ambassador. I have been chosen as a top senior of the class of 2023 to be recognized in a district-wide event and have been named as an example of the portrait of a graduate by the district.
I first joined College Possible because it was a requirement of Partnership for Kids, another program I was in, to join a college readiness program. As I looked through the options, I was not sure which would be the best fit for me. My Partnership for Kids coordinator at the time recommended College Possible to me as he had been through the program and said it had been of great help to him. So, I put in my application and was soon accepted into the program.
At first, I thought the program would be the same as every other, like how to set goals and make sure you do your homework, but soon after our term started, the lessons became tailored to us specifically instead of a generalization that could be applied to everyone. In group meetings we prepared for our ACT and learned to fill out the FAFSA; in one-on-one meetings, we discussed scholarships specific to us, reviewed our resumes, and explored our desired colleges. Thanks to College Possible I have applied for a multitude of scholarships that I did not know about. Filling out my FAFSA was easy, and college is starting to look a little less scary. I am currently a finalist for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and have received a couple of in-house scholarships from UNL such as the David Distinguished Scholarship.
Not only has College Possible made my senior year a bit less stressful and manageable, but it has given me another way to be a leader to my peers. During junior recruitment this year, I encouraged any and all juniors I knew to attend informational meetings and apply for the program. I have also encouraged some sophomores to look out for applications next year. I would like to thank my coach, Dorothy Nolan, specifically, for making this process a little less stressful and always being there for any doubts or concerns I may have. I would also like to thank and recognize my College Possible classmates for their efforts and achievements. I want them to know that I would not be giving this speech tonight if it were not for them. They allow me to represent our school and district with pride and I am as proud of them as I am proud to stand here and thank you all for everything you do for us. This program could not have had a better name as it has truly made college a possibility in many students’ lives and will continue to do so in years to come.
Interested in joining the College Possible Omaha program? View partner schools and eligibility requirements.