Lonnell Schuler has every reason to be angry and bitter about life circumstances, but instead “I possess hope and believe in my ability to create change…” Upon meeting Lonnell, one is taken with the energy of positivity, brilliance, and pure sunshine he brought to the moment.  He was a young man who knew exactly where he wanted to go in life, confident he had been successful in high school academically and in JROTC; with a fire not to let the opportunity for a L.I.F.T. Scholarship slip away.  The story of Lonnell’s life defies explanation, for this young man found himself part of the foster care system since the age of six, moved to thirteen different foster homes.  Reading was the only way he could escape his reality. The readings of Desmond Tutu inspired “Hope is about being able to be the light despite the darkness” and with that Lonnell “… chose the light…”  Now Lonnell has a L.I.F.T. family as he attends Colorado College assuring all that “an investment in me would be an investment in my community… I will always give back.”  Lonnell feels the responsibility on his shoulders to be a role model for his brothers and his community.  “As an African American, even with all the education that I receive and no matter how I learn, I know that not one of us is free until we are all free…” It is an honor to be in the life of Lonnell Schuler.