A Brampton Student is Looking For Help to Attend Harvard In An Interesting Way

 

A Brampton student is seeking help from the community on her journey to one of the world's most prestigious colleges.

Na’Shantea Miller of Brampton has always had a mission to do good for the community. While she was growing up, her family of 9 always had a hard time to make ends meet. However, her parents always did their best to make sure that Na’Shantea and her siblings had a good education.

Thanks to that, she was able to have an impressive school career, receiving many scholarships and eventually graduating from the University of Ottawa with a double major in Economics and Political Science in May 2018.

Even while she attended classes, Na’Shantea would still give back to the community. Some of her roles consisted of being the Vice-President of Philanthropy of the ESA, a member of the delegation to represent the University of Ottawa for the International Day for the Elimination of Racism Canada Lecture, and a Social Science Faculty Mentor.

I order to better achieve her goals, she applied to Havard Kennedy School for a Masters in Public Policy, with a concentration in Business and Government Policy. This program is perfect for what she wants to do in life as it focuses on providing services and helping the community.

She didn't have high expectations of getting accepted when she first applied. However, she didn't want to not give it her best shot.

"I didn't want to wonder "what if," but instead apply, be rejected, and tell myself that at least I tried," said Na’Shantea. "I may sound a bit negative, but who applies to Harvard thinking they will get accepted? Definitely not me."

To her surprise and excitement, she was accepted to the program. However, she is now faced with a large hurdle, the cost. The total cost of tuition and living expenses comes out to $84,670 USD per year for two years. This translates to roughly $113,106.42 CAD per year.

That's a lot of money for anyone to come up with. She's applied for numerous scholarships, but none so far have gotten back to her as they may only do so after June. This is a problem because, in order to secure her U.S. student visa, she must show proof that she can pay her tuition by June 15.

The cost for the first year high, and she only has $37,281.34 of her own personal and parental savings. She is still short $75,824.66. When she was considering turning down her acceptance she remembered that it would be better to try then ask herself "what if" in the future.

So in order to raise funds for both her tuition and a good cause at the same time, she has turned to Gofundme. The Gofundme campaign lets anyone donate money to her cause so she can reach her goal. A percentage of the donations will also be going helping students.

She is currently a mentor in a program called Leadership by Design, which aims to support Black high school students in the Greater Toronto Area in their leadership development.

Na’Shantea says 5% of any support she receives from the campaign will go to providing scholarships to other students and another 5% will go to a rural community in Gulu, Uganda. Her former high school guidance counsellor and mentor, Mama Latigo, has been supporting the community for the past 7 years.

"I am a firm believer in scholarships for students, and I hope to make them easier for students to receive," said Na’Shantea.

While she was President of the Economics Students Association (ESA), Na’Shantea established a scholarship program to celebrate accomplishment and sacrifice and to pay it forward.

Even though the cost of attending Harvard is high, and the deadline is approaching, Na’Shantea remains hopeful that the Gofundme will help both her and the students she hopes to help in the future.

She is also very nervous yet excited to be attending Harvard.

When asked for advice she may have for other students who may not believe she had this to say: "My main advice is to apply and see what happens. Even if I had not gotten in, it wouldn't be the end of the world. The Only thing worse than being rejected is asking what if? Never be the one to say no, and don’t let "nos" break you."

You can find and donate to Na’Shantea's cause at:

https://ca.gofundme.com/nashanteamiller

Photo courtesy of Na’Shantea Miller.

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