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Thank you, SOY: Letters from alumni

March 22, 2012

I thank SOY for helping me fulfill my dream of getting to where I am today. Now, when SOY does their annual trip and stops to visit Cal Poly, I am the one showing them the school and I am reminded of the trip I took in 2006. Dreams like mine are made possible because of SOY and all of its supporters who funded the program.

I would like to see SOY stay open for the years to come to help youth reach their full potential and strive to become the best that they can, just as it did with me. I only wish I had the funds myself to help SOY stay financially afloat, but as of now, all I can give to this great program is my time and write my story to seek help from potential sponsors. I hope to one day become a sponsor of this program myself because this program is more than a regular investment, it's an investment in a student's future — the best type of investment there is.

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Thank you,

Juan Miguel SOY Scholar, Class of 2007

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What SOY meant to me: hope

Dear SOY Patron,

What does a program like SOY mean to a young girl growing up in Costa Mesa? To a young Latina with two teen-mother older sisters? To a girl whose parents worked long hours in low-paying jobs?

To a girl like that, SOY means hope. It means a quiet place to study, a safe place to congregate with friends, a place to meet mentors, and a place to be empowered. Many of my high school memories take place at SOY. Whether it was playing pool, watching TV, or participating in the fitness program, SOY was always where the fun was happening. It was like my second family.

SOY was very helpful to my family and I. It was a place where I could have a quiet study area with knowledgeable tutors. I was in advanced classes all throughout high school, so neither my siblings nor my parents were able to help me proofread an essay or sort through difficult math problems.

SOY ingrained in me the idea that education was a way to move up in life. The staff always had high hopes for the students and told us that college was a reality for us — something we may not have believed without their encouragement. Once senior year came by, it was a given that I would apply to reputable universities and I attribute that to the SOY Scholarship Program.

I was accepted to many colleges, and with Trevor's guidance, I decided to attend the University of California, San Diego, the eighth top public university in the nation. Thanks to SOY, I started college with all the tools necessary to succeed.

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