Raised with concerns for affording health care, having the water turned off and losing the apartment they called home because there just was not money for rent, has not hardened Amanda to simply accept her life. Her mother, who stopped her college dreams to take care of her family, has “devoted her entire life to raising us so we can one day find a better life, one where we do not go hungry or live in fear.” Amanda realized at a young age education was her gateway to freedom and her mother taught her to “dream big”. She is an outstanding student, graduating with a 4.3 G.P.A. from a very academically challenging high school.

Amanda believes in herself. She knows what she is capable of achieving and has “dedicated myself to pursuing my interests and curiosity by taking stimulating and challenging classes”. What she cannot find answers to in school she finds in the wealth of knowledge within books at the public library. Education has “always been this beautiful luxury”. As she grew older and started looking at possible careers Amanda knew that wherever that pursuit led, she wanted to help people in similar situations to her own.

With a brother who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a family always worrying about how to pay for his treatments and medicine, Amanda has made it her calling to become a doctor “who opens clinics and helps people become free from the binds of poverty.” The future is bright as the L.I.F.T. Scholarship gives her “hope and opportunity” to pursue her dreams and let the curiosity that burned inside as a child explore all that college and life offers… science, theater, music, sociology, science fiction and fantasy writing and readings… The “luxury” of an education is Amanda’s.