When Da’Shza was 5 years old, her dad came home with a basketball from a Creighton University basketball game and gave it to her. She immediately questioned him about the mascot on the basketball, and her dad told her about Creighton and the importance of getting an education and a good job in life. From that moment on, Da’Shza knew she wanted to get a bachelor’s degree from the university.
Fast forward to now. Da’Shza is a senior at Creighton University, majoring in health administration and policy. A College Possible student herself, she is serving part-time as an AmeriCorps member with College Possible as she pursues her college degree.
While she is now fulfilling her dream of getting her degree from Creighton, it hasn’t always been an easy journey to get there.
When I set my mind on Creighton, a lot of people told me I wouldn’t be able to afford going there for school,” she says. “I always told myself that if it happens, it happens, but I always kept pushing myself to reach that goal.”
During her junior year of high school, Da’Shza had a friend who went to a College Possible meeting and told her all about the organization. She originally wanted to join to hang out with that friend, but she soon realized how important the organization is.
Looking back at her high school journey, she recalls that she never actually told her College Possible coach she wanted to go to Creighton University, even though it was in the back of her mind. But the name eventually came up, and her coach helped her apply for the George and Sally Haddix Scholarship, which is available to Omaha North High School students who want to attend Creighton. After an intense application process, she received the scholarship, making her dream a reality.
Da’Shza says she struggled a bit in her first years at Creighton. She had to learn new study habits, how to talk to professors, and how to ask for help. She also found herself in a different culture than her high school.
To start feeling more connected, she joined several groups on campus, including the Creighton Intercultural Center (CIC) and First-Year Leaders of Color Kinship (FLOCK). Between the two groups, she found people with similar interests and feelings and even started discussions on campus about Black Lives Matter, women’s rights and more.
Once she felt more established on campus, Da’Shza says, she wanted to give back to College Possible. She found a way to fit serving the organization into her schedule and currently serves as a junior coach at her high school alma mater, Omaha North High School. She also serves students at Benson High School and Bellevue East High School.
Everyone says that you need to go to college, but no one ever tells you how to get there,” she says. “I wanted to give back to the organization that helped me with the ‘how,’ and help others achieve their goals.”