(reposted from Cabrini Connections website)
My name is Alicia Hall. I am 20 years old and I am recently finished my sophmore year at Northeastern Illinois University. I started at Cabrini Connections in 1997 when I was in eighth grade. My mentor's name was Laurie Streeter. In 2001 I received the Golden Apple Scholarship for students who aspire to become teachers. It is a four year scholarship ($28,000) which requires me to graduate college within four years an commit to teaching in a school of need for at least five years. The program also provides me with guidance throughout my four years of college and will help with job placement once I graduate.
When I first met my tutor/mentor, Laurie, I was a quiet and shy young lady whose mind was never made up. I was not doing ok in school, but not as well as I could have been. Laurie helped me to reach my true potential and get the grades that I should have been getting all along. Moving on to high school Laurie continued to work with me soon becoming more of a mentor and a friend than a tutor. Laurie and I worked together all through my high school years. We kept in touch when she had to work in New York for a few months. I even got to fly out and visit for a weekend. During my senior year we visited a few colleges together and she helped me with the applications. She also helped me with my application and essays for the Golden Apple Scholarship. In June of 2001, I graduated from Lane Technical High School. Laurie was also there at my graduation. Laurie played a big role in my success through high school and I think that it would have been hard to finish without her help, advice, and piece of mind. To this day Laurie and I still keep in touch. Every now and then we go out for lunch or dinner, just to catch up on what has been going on in our lives.
Cabrini Connections has also played a large role in my success up to this day. The program has provided me with so many great opportunities. Since 1998, I have been a staff member at Cabrini Connections. I was also lucky to attend a trip to Ireland for two weeks. Although the trip was sponsored through another foundation, I would have never heard about the trip, applied for the trip, or did the things I needed to do to prepare for international travel if it were not for Cabrini Connections. The staff (Gena) helped a lot with that. I also attended a trip to Aspen Colorado for two weeks. These are two things I know I would have never done, at least at that age, if I were not a part of Cabrini Connections.
To this day I can look back at the experiences that I have had and say that I would have never had them if it were not for Cabrini Connections. I have met many people and done many things and I thank Cabrini Connections and its staff for giving me so many wonderful opportunities.