Samaria Simpson, $10,000 Foundation for Fresno Unified Schools, and Giving Tuesday scholarship winner!

“For as long as I can remember, my biggest dream has been to attend a Historically Black College (HBCU.) Coming from a single parent household with a very tight budget and health challenges, I didn’t know how this was going to happen.”

I didn’t know how this was going to happen. I grew up quickly in life! In elementary school, my grandmother and my best friend passed away, and my mom was diagnosed with diabetes. I saw her struggle trying to manage it, which landed her in the hospital. I learned to help her by testing her blood, giving her injections, and watching for signs of low and high blood sugar. I wanted to do more so I began researching ways to improve her health. I was determined to help my mom because she has always been a support system for me. 
At the end of my sophomore year, I got a job to take some stress off of her and to begin saving money for college. Some nights I got home at 8 pm from softball or leadership, had an assignment due at 11:59 pm, and worked the next day. I was committed to putting in the work to reach one of my biggest desires.

“I am thankful from the depths of my soul to all the donors who made my baby’s dream possible. It feels like I can finally breathe again. Because of scholarships, I no longer have to think about money being the reason my daughter can’t fulfill her dreams. Because of scholarships, my life has changed for the better.”
– Kenya Combs, Samaria Simpson’s Mother

It was a Monday at 2 pm and my counselor wanted to meet with me.  She told me I was chosen to receive a scholarship that would be presented to me at my high school’s senior awards night ceremony. Of course, I was very happy, but I had no idea how happy I would be. 

At the ceremony, my mom and I found out that I received 2 scholarships from Fresno Unified. One from The Foundation for Fresno Unified Schools for $4,500 and another from the Giving Tuesday scholarship fund for $5,545. We were in shock! Is this real life? We were both filled with joy!

Samaria with Trustee Keshia Thomas who raised $5,545 for the Edison region on Giving Tuesday.

Last year for Fresno Unified’s first annual Giving Tuesday, with the help of Keshia Thomas’ community, she raised $5,545 within a few hours. This money became a scholarship for Samaria Simpson, a Fresno Unified senior whose biggest dream has always been to attend a Historically Black College (HBCU.) 

Scholarships are a lifeline for Fresno Unified students who are ambitious, strive to reach their highest potential, and are eager to attend college but cannot because of economic deficits.