My name is Ericson Lopez and I am an African-American student from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Many have little hope for kids who come from this former mill town; for many, life is working full-time or attending community college. But I knew that I did not want to work long hours for little pay like my family and the people around me.
I saw a different path for myself, a path of going to school, and becoming someone important. When I applied to Assumption I knew that it was the environment I wanted to be in to continue on my road to success. Upon acceptance, I realized that financial aid would barely pay half of tuition. This was my breaking point - all that I’ve done in 18 years felt like it was slipping away.
My dreams of earning a degree and attending Assumption seemed out of reach. I soon called my old manager and told him I was not going anywhere that I was ready for work. That night I cried not a sad cry but a hopeless cry - a cry for help, a cry for a ladder outside thick walls of dreadful labor. My parents kept trying though. They called and called and never gave up. I believed that there was no way of going to Assumption, until September 6th.
My father received a call from Assumption informing him that there was one more scholarship for which I was eligible, the Sr. Thea Bowman Scholarship. The feelings that went through my body were unexplainable, my blood rushed through my body like a waterfall. I did not know how to process this and most importantly, I did not know how this was possible. This scholarship not only provided me with a bridge to continue my education, but a life lesson. That even at the last straw, you must never give up. The Sr. Thea Bowman scholarship is the only reason that I am at Assumption College.