Michelle Cherry, 2022 Empowerment Scholarship Recipient

GALF developed The Empowerment Scholarship to support those that are aging out of the foster care system who are seeking to rise above their circumstances by furthering their secondary education. These youth face unique challenges as they enter adulthood. Although some qualify for tuition and fee exemptions, there are many costs associated with post-secondary education that are not typically covered. The Empowerment Scholarship endowment helps bridge the gap for these young adults who are too old for the system and too young to support themselves. 

Through the support of community partners and generous donors, GALF recently awarded Michelle Cherry with an Empowerment Scholarship for $5,000 to help her with her school meal plan and other living expenses while attending college.

Michelle exemplifies resilience and determination. She was in and out of the foster care system for seven years, finally adopted at age 16, and still managed to graduate high school a year early, just one month after turning 17. Michelle is currently a full-time student at the University of South Florida and wowed The Empowerment Scholarship Committee with her drive, perseverance and touching essay. 

“Giving up was never an option for me, no matter how much I wanted to. Something just kept telling me to hold on and that it gets better. I remind myself that there is more out there. More to do, more to see, more to experience.”

She is right. And GALF is THRILLED to help her take those next steps with The Empowerment Scholarship. To help others like Michelle reach their highest potential, please donate today.

Featured in Circles Magazine