"I'm going to stay home, get a job and help my parents pay some bills." This is what I told my godmom after I received my Spelman College acceptance letter. I got an acceptance letter and no scholarship money, which was a problem because my family had no money. My godmother encouraged me to keep working towards my goal of going to school, even though I was facing a huge barrier called tuition.
It took a few weeks, but after I got over myself I decided to believe God to provide for me to go to school. It felt like an impossible task because Spelman College is a private institution and ain't cheap. I found a scripture about God honoring my desires and held on to it for dear life. Every time I was in the car, I repeated affirmations over and over again. And for the most part, I kept moving forward as if I was going to school. I didn't know how it could possibly happen, but I just kept moving forward.
The summer of my senior year, I got a part-time job as a receptionist in real estate broker's office, and I called the school to see if any new scholarships were available. They weren't. I was panicked, discouraged and frustrated. In my heart of hearts, I felt like Spelman was where I was supposed to go, but why did the school have to be sooooo expensive?! I couldn't choose some community college that I could afford on my own? I just had to choose the school in my home town that required some serious cash or debt to attend. Even though I was frustrated, I kept going. I told the school I would be there in the fall and kept receiving my materials in the mail.
Three weeks before orientation, I still had no money. I was still meditating on scripture and doing my affirmations, but something inside me shifted. I didn't care anymore. I wasn't quitting, but going to Spelman didn't feel so dire anymore. Somehow, I knew deep down inside that I'd get the money, and I stopped worrying about how. I felt a gut impulse to call the school again (even though I had already called them multiple times) about scholarship money....
This time, there was money. I still don't really know how that happened. Maybe someone turned down their academic scholarship or something last minute, but over the phone I was offered a scholarship covering half of my tuition. That was the exact amount I needed to get started. I was going to school!
I was over the moon excited. I still didn't have the total amount to go to school, but God got me this far, so I was going to keep going. During my first semester at Spelman, I dedicated at least an hour a day to applying for scholarships online. At the end of the semester, I was awarded more money, and I was able to continue my studies.
This part of my life taught me such a valuable lesson about faith. In high school I was a straight A student, but my SAT scores were just okay. I wasn't the first pick for scholarship money at my school of choice. I could have easily just chosen a cheaper school and gone on with my life. But there was something magical about believing for what I really wanted even though it seemed impossible. There was something about taking a step with no guarantees and seeing the path materialize for me right under my feet.
I'm learning to be THAT girl every day of my life, stretching myself to dream big and take a step, especially towards those dreams that feel impossible and scary. Fun fact, I graduated from Spelman College with a 3.9 GPA, owing only $4,000 in student loan debt. Crazy.
I'm learning that this stuff works, so I'm practicing it right now. I have a huge goal in front of me that seems impossible and feels scary, but I'm taking a step right now. I have no guarantees, but I'm sure this will be another faith victory story I'll get to tell you soon.
What about you? What goal or dream do you have that feels scary, but you know in your heart that you should be doing it? Comment below, and let's push each other to take that step.
About me . . .
I'm Cyrah Hill. I'm a woman of faith, an actor and an everyday black girl.