Sumayya, a College Possible senior from Mather High School, was born in Warangal, India, and lived there until she was 10. She always had a passion for learning, and received high marks in school. There, she developed a love for science, which grew into a dream of one day becoming a doctor.
“I remember my father sitting down with me and explaining the importance of a quality education. He believed that moving to a new country would provide me and my sisters more opportunities,” she recalls.
In the fifth grade, Sumayya’s family made the decision to move from Warangal to Chicago. Once in the states, Sumayya worked hard to advance her English skills in order to keep up with her fellow classmates. She remembers the transition fondly, as she appreciated having access to a large variety of classes, inspiring teachers, and new friends.
In high school, Sumayya continued reaching for new experiences and joined the student council, art club, National Honor Society and, ultimately, College Possible. Smiling, she recalls walking through the cafeteria one afternoon when someone caught her eye — an enthusiastic young woman sporting a green t-shirt that said, “Ask me about college!” This woman would lead her to join College Possible, in which she gained crucial knowledge about the college-going process.
“I was always interested in going to college, but I didn’t know how to get there,” explained Sumayya. This is where College Possible could help, with everything from SAT preparation to scholarship applications and financial aid. Her parents were thrilled that Sumayya was joining a program that would help her pursue her dream of becoming a doctor.
Despite being involved in numerous extracurricular activities, Sumayya prioritized her commitment to College Possible. Her coach, Carolyn, assisted her with time management, math tutoring and whatever else she needed to secure a solid score on her SAT test. During her senior year Sumayya applied to ten schools, and received acceptances to most. From the universities she received admission to, she was offered a total of $480,000 in scholarship aid.
While Sumayya’s successes are bountiful, it took a great deal of perseverance and diligence to achieve her goals. Whenever she felt discouraged, Sumayya would turn to her parents and College Possible coaches for support. They all gave her the same message: “It may be challenging and it will be a lot of work, but in the end, it will all be worth it.”
Through College Possible, Sumayya’s confidence in herself grew after each improved test score, and she received the assistance she needed when it came to choosing a college that would best help propel her medical career.
This fall, Sumayya will attend the University of Illinois at Chicago and plans to major in biology and biomedical sciences. She hopes to one-day provide healthcare where it is least accessible. “My coaches have offered me support every single step of the way. They have helped by making my end goal a real possibility.” She takes comfort in knowing College Possible will be there for every step of her path to earning her degree.