Monday, November 18, 2013

TSIC Alum Cody Wolfgang Fenech's Success Story

Dear Anne Everly, Steve Primus, TSIC Foundation, and affiliates
It’s almost funny how children think about the world. They look at the world as a place of possibility, wonder, and excitement. It is not to say that their lives are without strife, but to them, the future is in the palm of their hand. Ironically, a child that puts an adequate amount of thought into their future is seldom found. They do not worry about finances, about job applications, about grade point averages. This ideology seems to be carried on for much of their teenage years, until these dilemmas are knocking on their door.

This is how many of my peers and I felt about the future until we had reached our junior or senior years. For me, it had been apparent for much of my life, that my family was not a family of privilege, wealth, or social connections. I had been without a father for much of my childhood, and my mother worked low paying jobs just to keep a roof over our heads and the bills paid. I had never felt unlucky however. My mother had raised me the best she could, and had always shown me that she loved me more than any parent could.
Love, unfortunately, cannot pay college tuition.
That is where TSIC came in. In the 9th grade I wrote an essay, as did hundreds of other students, to apply for the TSIC scholarship. As a 14 year old, I didn’t observe much of what was going on, and didn’t give much heed to the ensuing events that came after I submitted my essay. Sometime after, my family was invited to a ceremony at the Viera Stadium. As my mother read the invitation, her face lit up with joy, and I could have sworn I saw the beginning of tears well in her eyes. She turned to me, a grin spreading across her face. She explained the best she could the amazing opportunity I just received, but of course, being a child I merely thought, “That’s cool”. Over the ensuing years however, it became abundantly clear what a blessing that the TSIC scholarship truly was.

I was introduced to mentors and coaches, and compassionate people that empathized with what I was going through, before I even knew myself.
This letter is to those people like Anne Everly, Steve Primus, and the kind of people that looked at poverty level kids that had no chance of a real future and said “No, everyone deserves a chance.”
You were there for me when I stumbled; you guided me when I didn’t know where to go. You gave me the sort of advantage that helped me overcome the adversity that I was gifted with since birth.
I will be frank with you, in high school I had become a mediocre student, but you wouldn’t have any of that! My grades, my study habits, and my over support improved. My GPA rose from 2.5 to 2.7 to 2.9 until I graduated in 2011 with a GPA of 3.1. It was at that moment I really began to gain some retrospect. As I clasped my hand around that diploma, giving Principal Cool a firm handshake with the other, I looked back at the road I was headed down, and the future that would have been in store for me if I had not received this scholarship.
I became truly determined to reach the peak of potential that I had after receiving this scholarship. As of today, 10/2/2012, I am majoring in Computer Science as a full-time student at Brevard Community College, maintaining a GPA of 3.5+, and have made the Dean’s List every semester. I work part-time at a call center, while simultaneously taking care of my aging grandmother and mother. To this day I continue to work harder to raise my GPA, to achieve within my job, and to reach the level of responsibility that signifies true adulthood.
While my achievements may not equate to moving mountains, I feel that the difference between what I have achieved, and what I would have achieved is enormous. I can do nothing but sincerely thank those that work at the TSIC foundation. You have given me the means to go to college, to get an education, and truly make something of myself.
So those who doubt the effectiveness of this program, or the impact on the community; I implore you to take a step back for a moment, and just observe the impact on an individual level.
This foundation is one of the few that I have seen whose objective is truly altruistic. To educate children so that they may improve not only their lives, but the lives of those around them. With more education, communities will improve, counties, states and so on. As I finish up my education, and receive employment in my field, be assured I will never forget how TSIC, its scholarships, and more importantly how its volunteers have changed my life. Furthermore, you can bet I will be back soon enough, to become one of those volunteers, or those donors; ready to help a child such as myself one day, because I truly know what a difference it has made.

With tears in my eyes, I can only say again; thank you. Thank you with all of my heart, for not only giving me a future, but restoring part of the child-like outlook, because I have learned now what many adults have lost as they grow older; The future is a place of possibility, wonder, and excitement. You just have to go out there, and make it happen.

TSIC recipient,
Cody Wolfgang Fenech

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