by Kaleigh Jackson
I had become friends with a few people who had interviewed with me, so we often texted back and forth about how nervous we were to click the pdf file that would be attached to our emails shortly. One day as I was sitting in Pre-Calculus taking notes on trig (ouch, trig was NOT my favorite), I felt my phone vibrate and went to check it. "Did you get it??" was all the text read and immediately my heart began to race. I pulled out my computer and checked the email I had given the foundation--nothing. I checked my regularly used email address for college things--nothing. I even checked my high school email and the email I used for junk coupon mail and still turned up with nothing!
Something had to be wrong. Did they forget me? I was quite sure that they had forgotten to send me my email, and I was on edge. About an hour later I was placed into a group text message with four other of the students I interviewed with and they ALL had gotten their emails--except none of them received the scholarship. All I could do was hope that there was some correlation to be had in the fact that I had not yet seen an email pop up in my inbox (but you can bet I checked every five minutes that night while I neglected my homework and routine sleeping schedule).
The next morning, anxious and sleep-deprived, I went to pick up a younger student I drove to school everyday. On the way, I talked to her about how stressed out I was to get my email and that my life could potentially be changed forever via one line on a pdf document found in an email.
"Your whole life is changed Kaleigh, this is such a blessing," he managed choke out between tears, "I am so proud if you!"
Upon arrival to school, I grabbed my laptop and immediately connected to the wifi. I began to check my email as I walked to the band hall to grab my instrument for rehearsal. *ding!* There was an email sitting in my inbox from the Terry Foundation waiting patiently to be opened. My hands started to shake and my whole body went cold. EN, the girl I drove to school noticed my change in behavior and asked "Did you get it??" To which I replied that I hadn't even opened it yet; I was too nervous. When we got into the band hall, amidst the swarm of kids running around putting their instruments together and yelling to their friends that they had forgotten to finish their geometry homework, time slowed down for me as I clicked the pdf document in the email. The only word I needed to see was "Congratulations!" before I was on my face praying to God and thanking Him for such a blessing. I started crying and before I knew it the entire band knew that I was a Terry Scholar! My band director made his way over to me to let me know how proud of me he was, and that he knew I would get the scholarship. I called my mom and told her and she just began to cry. She's a teacher and so in that instant her entire class knew the good news that had been received that morning. I called my dad and he had no words--only tears of joy and thankfulness to God. "Your whole life is changed Kaleigh, this is such a blessing," he managed choke out between tears, "I am so proud if you!"
The morning that I received my Terry Letter will be a day I will never forget and will never stop being thankful for.