The first time I came to Villanova, I fell in love. My parents, grandmother, aunt and I traveled to Pennsylvania from Charlotte, North Carolina, after learning about Villanova through the PricewaterhouseCoopers Impact Project my junior year of high school. From the moment I stepped on campus, I could tell that this institution was an established staple in the community.
While touring the University, my family met the Assistant Director for Multicultural Affairs and she invited us to tour the Center for Multicultural Affairs. In the office, I was surrounded by students and faculty with my same mission in life—to lead by example and share what I’ve learned with others. It was that moment that I knew Villanova could become a home away from home, and that I would have a second family here. My decision was made.
As a Villanova student, I became involved in a myriad of activities on campus. One of the most important for me was being a member of the legendary Track and Field team. I had been very involved in the sport in high school, so I knew I wanted to continue at the collegiate level. As part of the team, I became a seven-time All-BIG EAST performer, earned BIG EAST All-Academic team all four years and was the 2014 outdoor conference champion in the 110 meter hurdles. I was proud to serve as sprint team captain during my senior year, as well.
Aside from track, I served as a work study student at the Center for Multicultural Affairs. Not only did I enjoy the environment and the people, I also appreciated the opportunity to earn extra money to cover my education. Going to college, I depended on any scholarships, financial aid or support from family and friends that I could get. I was always trying to figure out how I was going to make it to the next semester. My parents said to keep praying and I would find a way.
Then, entering my senior year at Villanova, I received the Keenoy Family Endowed Scholarship in Memory of John A. Bittig, Second Lieutenant, USMCR. It was a phenomenal moment. It showed that my dream was shining through—that another person that I’ve never met could see my potential on paper. It gave my family a sense of pride that I could complete my degree from this outstanding institution and call myself a Villanovan.
I am thankful to the Keenoy family from the bottom of my heart for supporting me and enabling me to finish this one-of-a-kind education from Villanova. It has been a blessing and an experience that I would never trade.
After graduation, I will be using my communication degree with Synchrony Financial as part of their two-year rotational Business Leadership Program. I’m not sure what city I will start out in but, wherever I go, I hope I can use what I’ve learned to shape, innovate and help others change the world.