Student Perspective: Nelly Perez, Jubilee Scholarship Award Recipient

My name is Nelly Perez, and I’ve recently received some life-changing news. I found out that I am one of the two recipients of the Grace Place for Children and Families Jubilee Scholarship.

The day I was told, I was at a loss for words. This scholarship meant that I had just gotten four years of my education funded. It was like a dream.

I first became involved at Grace Place when my mother signed me up for the middle school summer program during my seventh-grade year. I began to get involved with volunteering at events like Family Literacy Day, A Swing of Grace, and countless others. I continued in the programs at Grace Place, and when high school came around, I joined AP Leadership (now LEAD). I was able to receive guidance and support to graduate and help me and my peers find what we were going to do with our futures.

Being an AP Leader also meant working with the kids at the elementary and middle school level. This experience left a more significant impact on me than I could have imagined. They were a great group, and knowing that I was helping them, even if I just helped with a simple math problem, gave me a sense of accomplishment. I felt a responsibility to be a good role model for them.

Being involved in Grace Place has led to significant, positive change for my family and me. My college is paid for; I can’t put into words what that means to my family and me. It gives me security in knowing that I will be able to pursue my dreams. It makes me want to give back or pay it forward somehow, and I intend to.

My educational pursuits would not be possible without the generous support of Grace Place and its donors. I can’t thank you all enough for providing me this opportunity. Education in itself is an opportunity to learn every day continuously, and that, to me, it is the greatest gift of all.