Two years ago, I moved from Egypt to the United States. My family left everything behind—our family, friends, our house, my parents’ jobs—and it was all so my brother and I could get a better education. I didn’t know how to speak or write English. I was placed classes below my grade level, which was frustrating because I knew the whole reason I was in this country was to have a better education.
It could have been really hard, but thanks to the Fulfillment Fund, I made it and I am getting a great education. Today I have over a 4.0 and most of my classes are honors and AP’s.
In Egypt, my mother was a chemistry professor and my father was a French teacher. But when we came to the U.S., their credentials meant nothing since neither of them spoke English; it was very difficult for them to find jobs. Now, my father works part-time as a security guard and my mother just got a job working at a grocery store. Most times they need to speak to someone in English, I have to translate for them.
If it weren’t for the Fulfillment Fund, I don’t think I ever would have gone to college because I would have no way of knowing how to get there. Since I started at Hamilton High School, the Fulfillment Fund has been coming into my classrooms, teaching me and my classmates about what we need to do to get to college and why college is so important. I didn’t even know what a personal statement was until last year, but my Fulfillment Fund counselors worked tirelessly with me until my personal statement was perfect. They brought me to visit the first college I ever saw and it felt amazing. At that moment, I knew that I wanted to be a college student.
In Egypt, I had my own room all to myself, and now my entire family has to share one room. I really hope I can live on campus in college, so I can get that full college experience.
I applied to 10 colleges, and my goal is to become a doctor. I’m thinking about being a dentist or a chiropractor because I like communicating with people in addition to helping them. I spend a lot of my time after school volunteering at a medical clinic for mostly immigrant populations. I know how other people feel when they come from other countries, so it feels great that I’m now in a position where I can help them. My goal is to help these people just like the Fulfillment Fund helped me. I like volunteering because I get to see how my help directly benefits people who need me. Seeing their smiles at the end of the day, after I’ve helped them with what they need, makes me want to keep volunteering and helping people by being a doctor one day.
The Fulfillment Fund has also set me up with amazing scholarship opportunities. Without these scholarship opportunities, there is no way my family could afford to send me to college. Thanks to the Fulfillment Fund, I have received a full-ride scholarship to Marymount College in Palos Verdes. My whole family and I are so excited about this opportunity!
Since the Fulfillment Fund came into my life, I now see that anything is possible. Even if something is complicated or seems too difficult for me, anytime I talk to my Fulfillment Fund counselors, they make it easy for me and they’ve shown me that there’s always an answer for everything. Since neither of my parents went to school in the United States, everything is on me because my parents can’t help me, but thankfully, the Fulfillment Fund has been there to guide me.
Without the Fulfillment Fund, I wouldn’t be who I am now. Now, even though I’m from a low-income family, I have more chances and options—even more than students who don’t come from such challenging backgrounds—all because of the Fulfillment Fund.
Meret began attending Marymount College in fall 2013.