Written by IDA recipient Shanice Bennett
The CommunityWorks Education IDA program has helped me attain my educational goals by alleviating some financial burden of paying tuition. Making sure that I had money to pay rent and tuition has always been a concern of mine. Throughout college, I have worked four jobs during the academic years, summers, and holiday breaks all while maintaining a high grade point average. When I found out about the IDA program, it was like a breath of fresh air. The elimination of a financial burden allowed me to focus more on my studies and achieve the grades needed to be admitted into graduate school.
Continuing my education is important to me because I am a first generation college student, older sister and oldest grandchild, so I have my entire family looking at me as a role model and inspiration. Being the first in my family to pursue higher education was instilled in me since I was a little girl; the only path after high school graduation was college. Without the unconditional support and encouragement of my family and friends, and my faith in God, I know I would not make it. I’m not achieving all of these goals and aspirations for myself; I am doing it for my family and setting a new standard of achievement for my little brother and cousins.
As a recent graduate from the University of South Carolina Upstate, I plan to continue on to graduate school and earn my Doctorate in Physical Therapy degree. After graduation, I would love to work in a neurological setting treating spinal cord injuries and strokes, amongst other conditions. I am thankful for having the opportunity to participate in this program and continuing on to pursue my dreams.