by Miguel Reyna, Vanderbilt University, KIPP Nashville Alum
A big conversation for seniors at KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School was figuring out how we were going to financially support our college journey. The KIPP Through College (KTC) team at my school began encouraging us to start applying for scholarships that would help cover any cost of attendance and additional out-of-pocket expenses we would encounter at college.
During this process, the KTC crew at KIPP Nashville strongly recommended that I apply for the Dave Goldberg Scholarship, a program established to support high achieving seniors that attend KIPP high schools across the country.
I read over the scholarship description and saw that it offered a unique combination of financial support and individual mentoring during my four-years in college. At first, I thought since I had a good financial package at Vanderbilt University, that I wasn’t sure I needed it, but my counselors convinced me that tuition was not enough. This scholarship would help me cover the extras like books and offer career support like no other.
After going through the application process, I received the exciting news that I had been selected for the Dave Goldberg Scholarship and thanked the KTC team at my school for offering me this unique opportunity.
At the time, I had no idea the extent of amazing opportunities they had just introduced me to as a recipient. I soon learned about the annual Leadership Weekend that all the Goldberg Scholars are invited to every summer in San Francisco.
My experience attending the past two Leadership Weekends has been nothing like what I had expected it to be. They have been extraordinary and transformative experiences allowing me to connect and develop strong relationships with the other recipients of the scholarship, who were an incredibly inspiring, talented, driven, and fun group of individuals.
Beyond this, the quality of the coaching that took place during Leadership Weekend was exceptional. It provided me with invaluable information on how to deal with adversity on my college campus, being an effective leader, and how to be an integral part of the internship I was involved in this past summer. These were all amazing learning moments for me that would not have been possible without the support of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation and leadership of the KTC team.
One other great thing that came out of these Leadership Weekends was my relationship with my mentor, Scott. He is a leader in the field I’m interested in and has been an amazing mentor –he’s supported me through all my struggles in college and invited me to meet his family over the summer.
It has been a rewarding journey building a community with the leadership team, my mentor, and the other Goldberg Scholars. I feel now, more than ever, like I have a group of people that genuinely care about my success and can pick me up when I fall.
Not only that, the Goldberg Scholarship gave me the ability to spend the summer in New York and teach marginalized students, something I aspire to do as a career in the future. This scholarship has given me much more than financial support. It has given me experiences and opportunities to develop as a person. It has given me a family that is always there to support me. I would truly like to thank again both the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation and the KTC team at my school that guided me to one of the best experiences I have ever been a part of. I have learned that you must always be open to opportunities presented to you because you never know what you will gain from them or who you will meet to help guide you along the way.