Kayla is a bright, energetic and compassionate young woman who has a strong commitment to community service. Over the course of her last two years in high school, she completed 99 hours of service through the GlamourGals' program, by providing makeovers and manicures to elderly women living in senior homes.
As a shining young leader, Kayla was honored with GlamourGals' most prestigious award, the Chapter President Glammy Award at the Glammy Scholarship Awards, held at NASDAQ in May of 2013. Kayla was the star of the event. Having been introduced that evening by New York City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, she was thrilled to share with attendees that she was admitted into Long Island University's pharmacy program and would be attending the university in the Fall of 2013.
Unfortunately, Kayla's family was unable to afford the $50,000 annual fee attached to the pharmacy program and did not qualify for financial aid or loans. Kayla withdrew her acceptance from Long Island University and immediately faced a bleak future. In fact, it was a future that lacked even the prospect of attending an institution of higher education. She had resigned herself to working part-time at a movie theater.
After learning about Kayla's experience, I reached out to St. Peter's University, a Jesuit institution of higher education that places great value on community service.
I shared with the university Kayla's exceptional commitment to service and years of dedication to working with the elderly.
The university recognized Kayla's leadership qualities and shortly thereafter offered her admittance to the university with a Dean's Scholarship, amounting to $72,000 over the course of four years. Between her scholarship, grants and financial aid, Kayla will be receiving $134,000 in support.
Next week, Kayla moves into her dorm room at St. Peter's University, where she will be studying Biology. Earlier this week, she wrote me this note:
College is an amazing opportunity that I can now experience with the help of GlamourGals. I will be attending Saint Peter's University in the Fall.
Before the opportunity, I was planning on not going to school due to a familial financial concern. I was accepted to Long Island University and had to withdraw. If the opportunity to begin my education at Saint Peter's never existed, I would have continued working part time as a cashier at a nearby movie theater.
GlamourGals is an inspirational organization based on compassion and the desire to improve the lives of others. I started GlamourGals as a Junior in High School and [continued] until graduation. I have learned how to understand how others feel and how to reciprocate their feelings- even if all it requires is a little smile and nail polish.
My life has been forever changed, not by makeup or nail polishes, but by being able to experience making the life of another special and worthwhile.
With the help of Kavita Mehra, and the entire GlamourGals staff, I can now go to college. This past Spring, I attended the Glammy Scholarship Awards and was presented with the Chapter President Glammy Award, and was honored. I now get the opportunity to be even more honored to go to school as a Biology Major with the help of GlamourGals. Dreams can come true with a little inspiration, positivity and determination.
Kayla's compassion towards the elderly and commitment to service set her apart as a young leader and now, because of it, she now has a shot at attending college. Got to love second chances.
For more information on GlamourGals, please visit www.GlamourGals.org.
Follow Kavita Mehra on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@kavitamehra