Destination China: A study abroad trip!
$65 raised
4% of $1.8k goal
5 contributors
4 Years running
The shortest way to describe this fundraiser is, my school's study abroad program is hosting a trip to China this year and I'd like to go.

Now here's the long description.

Through my entire college career, I've been paying for my school by loans. ...
The shortest way to describe this fundraiser is, my school's study abroad program is hosting a trip to China next year and I'd like to go.

Now here's the long description.

Through my entire college career, I've been paying for my school by loans. The word loans is often accompanied by the sounds of hisses on the lips of students, but sometimes you've just got to bite the bullet and accept that you can't have your cake and eat it too. I'm sure your next question is "Hey Cindy. What about grants and scholarships?" Well, I'd be happy to inform you that even after living in a trailer with a father as a truck driver and a stepmother as a stay at home part timer, we're still not low enough income to afford aid from the government. We make just enough to survive. Nothing more, nothing less.

Don't mistake me, though. I have a wonderful life. More friends than I can count on both my hands, food in my stomach, a roof over my head, and a family who, as far back as I can remember, has always been there for me. I also have a good job that affords me the gas and other essentials I need for living.

If you're wondering what I want to do with my life (if not just skip over this paragraph), I'm working to be a photographer. There's been a lot of skepticism and laughs thrown my way because of both the economy and my own financially disinclined wallet, but dreams are dreams. It took me a long time to admit to the fact that I'd rather be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but here I am world!

Which finally brings me back around to the reasoning behind this fundraiser. Around late August to early September, I learned there was a study abroad program hosting a commercial location photography class in China. At first, I was very apprehensive about the idea. I've never even been out of the country, so to travel so far as the other side of the world is a scary prospect. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized this is just what I need. I've been so caught up with staying in my comfort zone that some days, I forget the rest of the world exists. Moreover, being my own biggest critic, it's hard to feel good about myself and what I do. What I want more than anything is to finally please my own biggest critic: me. While I can't say for sure whether a month in a completely different place will do that, I'm fairly certain it's a step in the right direction.

I won't deny that at first, I was very discouraged by the price tag of such an endeavor. The total cost of the trip itself is $5700. When I mentioned this to my teacher, however, he told me not to give up, and that they would find a way for me to go come Hell or high water. Not only that, but he said he wanted me to go. It was very inspiring. If someone else can put faith into my situation, I should be able to at the very least give it my all.

So here I am. Luckily, I finally earned my first scholarship and was able to pay at least half of the trip through that. Another part was taken out through loans, so that leaves me with a much more manageable margin! I won't beg you to donate, however. Understand that as this fundraiser is going, I'm also trying my best to earn the money myself. Just know that no matter how much you donate, whether it be a dollar or twenty of them, words cannot describe how appreciative I am. I've learned first hand not to just expect handouts, so anything received is a pleasant and welcome surprise. If you've made it this far, I thank you for reading my long and drawn out description! I'll try to update this page as much as I can with my progress.
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