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One Less Barrier

“I will graduate. I will become a lawyer. I will achieve my dreams.”

Since Latrice was a young girl, she has dreamed of becoming a lawyer—first for the military, and then for kids in foster care. That dream provided the drive she needed to overcome the obstacles in her life.

As a child, Latrice entered the foster care system with her brothers and spent several years overcoming changing family situations. During her senior year of high school, she moved out on her own and had to support herself financially. “Those early years in my life taught me to always strive for greatness,” said Latrice.

Today, Latrice is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Chicago pursuing criminal justice and political science majors; still intent on becoming a lawyer. She works closely with her College Possible coach, Lisa, who provides financial, academic and emotional support to Latrice as she navigates the rocky waters of college. With Lisa’s support, and with the grit she has gained throughout her life, Latrice is excelling in her courses.

However, during her freshman year, while she was experiencing academic success, Latrice’s finances were proving to be a significant barrier. In addition to her course work, Latrice worked over 65 hours a week to support herself and pay for college. Despite her hard work, she struggled to fill her financial gap. Fortunately, Lisa was there to help. She recommended Latrice apply to a scholarship available to former foster care students from the Department of Child and Family Services.

Latrice jumped at the opportunity, completing her application within 24 hours. She was awarded the scholarship, a monthly living stipend and health insurance. Together, these funds fully cover Latrice’s financial gap.

“I want to set an example for my little brothers who went through the foster system with me and show them how to turn a bad situation into a bright future,” she wrote on her application. “They’ll too be great; all they need to do is keep persisting toward their dreams.”

As Latrice explains, “Earning this scholarship will help me complete school without the added financial worry and allow me to focus more on my studies.”

Because of her hard work and determination, and the help she has received from her College Possible coach, Latrice can now see a clear path to earning her degree and ultimately becoming a lawyer.

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