Ashley, Brooklyn, NY
Attending University of Southern California

Growing up as a low-income student, my dream is to help developing countries implement efficient  infrastructure and policies that will help communities thrive. I’m thrilled that this year I’ll be attending the University of Southern California majoring in urban studies and planning. I’m grateful for the help I received from CollegePoint that assisted me when applying to colleges and choosing the right school for me – it definitely wasn’t easy.  

I come from a small, tight-knit school in Brooklyn, NY with a graduating class of only 60 students. I wanted to make them and my family proud and was anxious I wouldn’t be accepted into my top schools, so I ended up submitting 32 college applications. On top of that was scholarship applications, fly-in programsinterviews, and managing my final semester of school during a global pandemic. The biggest hurdle I faced though was when my grandmother became sick and was hospitalized.  

My advisor Robbie had a major impact in my life during this time, helping me manage my applications, providing detailed feedback on my college essays and helping me through the final phases of my college decision.  

Sadly, my grandmother, who was one of my biggest advocates and encouraged me to attend all five fly-in programs, passed away while I was on a school visit to my dream college: USC. Dealing with the college application process while grieving my grandmother was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and my advisor helped see me through it.  

After experiencing mentorship through CollegePoint, I was inspired by how passionate people are to help kids like me and now I want to pay it forward. At USC I’ll be participating in two mentorship programs working with students in Los Angeles providing tutoring and helping them with their college essays the way CollegePoint helped me. It’s one of many steps I plan to make to help systemically disadvantaged communities develop infrastructure and policies so the people living in them can lead a better quality of life.