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Hannah Pauley
Neither of my parents went to college, my dad pretty much worked his fingers to the bone making a life for me and my siblings. But in the last month of my sophomore year, he died suddenly from a heart attack. I decided not to walk at graduation because I felt that if my dad wasn’t there, then I wasn’t going to be there either. A lot of people didn’t believe I would get my life together.

That same summer, my brother went off to become a Peer Leader. He came home a changed man from College Summit. My mom ended up submitting the application without me knowing. The odd thing is that the kids like me are the ones who change the most. It was the first time in a long time I felt excited about something again. It was the first time I explored how I was feeling and what I was dealing with about my dad.

If it wasn’t for College Summit, I would probably be an alcoholic or have $30,000 of student loans. Here I am studying behavioral health and don’t owe my school a penny. Statistics and numbers don’t explain what College Summit is and what it does for a person. It lets you stand in the moment.

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