Higher Education – A Family First

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.