How did you become a part of Bright Futures?
In 2005, I was a middle school student at West Fulton Middle School and during that time Philip was known for walking the halls. One day while I was standing in front of my school’s poster that read “Shoot for the moon, if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Philip came up next to me and said, “No, it’s wrong. It should be ‘Shoot for the moon, if you miss, aim again.’’’ That was the first time I met Philip. His quote spoke deeply to me because I knew immediately I wanted to be a part of a place that made me believe in dreaming. I wanted to be a part of Bright Futures.
How did Bright Futures help you?
One of the things that I loved about my time with Bright Futures was the exposure I received. There were so many things I did not know I could do. This may seem like a simple thing, but before Bright Futures I did not know how to swim, had never gone to the beach or the mountains, and I don’t know if I would have without them. Things that other people may take for granted (like going to the beach), Bright Futures opened my eyes too.
What I’ll never forget is that when Philip and Gail saw how my family was living at that time, they stepped in and helped us. There were seven of us living in a two bedroom apartment, my parents in one room and myself, four sisters and one brother in the other room. Gail came in and redid our room and it was beautiful. Philip and Gail have been there for us over the years. They covered the cost for my SAT tests and helped me prepare and study for it. They taught me and my siblings how to drive! They even helped me purchase my first car after I graduated high school.
What are you up to now?
In 2016, I graduated from Georgia Southern University and my major was Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources and minor in marketing. Today, I live in Savannah and am a manager at a Belk department store. I am currently teaching myself Korean and plan to move to Korea to teach English and travel the world.
I give Bright Futures credit for helping me believe in myself and achieve my proudest moment to date which is moving to Savannah and having my own apartment. Because of them, I am independent.
If you had to use one word to describe your experience with Bright Futures what would it be?
Life-Altering and Hope
What else do you want others to know about Bright Futures?
Bright Futures gave me hope when everything else felt hopeless to me and opened my eyes to God which is the ultimate hope so I think everyone should know that. They taught me that education is important. But what they are doing is more than just education. They are taking kids out the hood and changing them into God loving people. That’s something that goes beyond giving back.
What I also want people to know is that my family and story is one of many. Philip, Gail and Bright Futures have done so much for me and others and I am just so grateful to them.