Receiving the Al Forthan Scholarship has reminded me that I am not defined by the mistakes of my parents. It is a constant reminder of the places I’ve been and the places I’m going. And although the financial stability the scholarship has provided me with has been so extremely helpful, The Al Forthan Scholarship means so much more to me than just that. It has made me feel worthy, valued and honored by so many. I won’t ever forget the day I got up at the banquet and told my story. All of the encouragement I received afterward gave me the biggest feeling of acceptance and freedom that I have ever felt. The Al Forthan Scholarship has helped guide me toward a successful future. I now have the comfort of knowing that my dreams are possible, and that they are never out of reach. My goals matter. I matter. I didn’t always used to believe this until someone took a chance on me. I want to thank the Al Forthan committee for their dedication to changing the lives of students all over, because you guys most definitely changed mine.