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"It was these experiences that led me to fully appreciate the tremendous opportunity and training that I was given by my school and Samuel Ready."

– Samuel Ready Scholarship Alumna

Reflection by Samuel Ready Scholar
Nabreyia Scott '13
January 26, 2015

She's tall, African American; she has dark hair and brown skin.

This is all the information I've had a majority of my life about my mom. In middle school I learned her name. I have no memory of ever meeting my mother or father. Since I was three days old I have been in the care of someone I thought was my adoptive parent, Ms. Paulette Randall, who I have called Mom my entire life. I was in the care of Paulette until the age of 16. Paulette raised me as her own daughter and I am forever grateful to her every day. I was able to start school only because of the faulty public school system's not checking for proper documents and paperwork. I went on to go to KIPP Baltimore Charter School and my hard work there allowed me to win a full scholarship to St. Paul's School for Girls (SPSG) through the Samuel Ready Scholarships program.

While living with Ms. Randall, things started to get pretty bad for us. We first couldn't afford our electricity bill, so for a long time we went without power. I would rush home after school so I could finish my homework before the sun went down. We also didn't have hot water or heat most times. I never said anything at school because I was taught to have pride in what I did have and not worry about what I did not. I just made it work without telling anyone. Before my junior year I was picked to go on an all expenses paid leadership and learning experience to Israel with the Elijah Cummings Youth Program of Israel. I kept asking Ms. Randall to take me to get an identification card and then she finally told me I wasn't actually adopted or documented with the state as being in foster care. No one wants to hear she is adopted, but you especially do not want to hear you are not adopted. I never knew and the information was a lot to internalize and I got really worried about how I would get everything ready for my trip! I still didn't have any identification to get a passport so I talked to a faculty member at SPSG and she said she would help me get my birth certificate and any other documents I needed.

I was able to get all of the information I needed in time and go to Israel! That was an experience I am still thankful for every day! After I came back from Israel I learned that Ms. Randall had fallen very ill and had been hospitalized. She had a history of seizures and high blood pressure so her health wasn't perfect. The faculty member who helped me was Titia Dunn. We grew close very quickly and talked all the time. I would stay with her on some weekends and she became a second family to me. Ms. Randall got so sick and things got so bad that we lost our house again! I didn't know where I was going to stay for senior year of high school so I talked to Mrs. Dunn and she offered her home to me. I moved in with her and finished my senior year. I was able to win many awards at SPSG and because of all my contributions and academics I was offered a full scholarship to The University of Maryland College Park (UMD). UMD has generously helped me by paying for all of my expenses.

At the University of Maryland I am a part of the Terps for Change community service organization and the University Student Judiciary. I have served as senator of my dorm hall, worked on the Resident Life Advisory Team, and become a volunteer for So Others Might Eat (SOME) homeless soup kitchen. I have been in three productions at UMD as well, Twilight, Los Angeles: 1992, The Me Nobody Knows and an original student-written production called Tone of Silence. I just finished my third semester and can't wait to jump in next semester to get involved.

I am a first generation college student. Mrs. Dunn and UMD have helped make the transition to college very easy for me. Mrs. Dunn helped me get into foster care so I could get health insurance. I had never been to the dentist and was behind on a lot of shots, but Mrs. Dunn helped me take care of everything. Ms. Randall and I still keep in touch. My life made a complete 180 and every day I feel blessed and thankful to be where I am. I am a double major in Theater and Hearing and Speech at UMD and I can't wait to graduate and go to graduate school and accomplish all the goals I have set for myself. I do still think that I don't know my biological parents. Even with all the adversity I've had to deal with, I know everything has made me the person I am today and I'm extremely proud of myself and what my future holds.

Samuel Ready Scholarships, Inc.
P.O. Box 202
Riderwood, MD 21139-0202
Phone: 443-841-4325
Email: anne@samuelready.org

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