Former Step Up For Students scholarship student Denisha Merriweather, now attending the University of West Florida, received a standing ovation last night after speaking at the American Federation for Children summit in Washington D.C. Here is the text of her prepared remarks. (Full disclosure: Step Up co-hosts this blog.)
Good evening! Thank you, Mr. Chavous, for your kind introduction.
My name is Denisha Merriweather, and I just finished my junior year at the University of West Florida in Pensacola right near the tip of Florida’s Panhandle. I am so proud to stand here before you today knowing that this time next year, I will be graduating college.
The truth is, when I was growing up, college was a dream that I didn’t even know I had. And if it weren’t for an educational option Florida gave me nine years ago, I wouldn’t be here today.
If you were to rewind my life back to my childhood, you would see someone very different. You would see someone who got in fights with her classmates. Someone destined to drop out before she made it through high school. Someone who didn’t even know what college was.
But thankfully, I did not become a statistic. Because of some help I received when I was 12 years old, my life has changed tremendously. Continue Reading →