'Tis the season....yup, it's Back to School time!! Most parents are rejoicing while elementary, middle, and secondary school students and their teachers are probably weeping silent, bitter tears as summer winds down. However, there is a particular subset of parents who aren't turning cartwheels: parents of first year college students.
The college freshmen are packed up and ready to begin a new chapter in their lives. Oh, the college years! For the most part, I have fond memories of that period in my life: new friends, fun orgs, cool classes, and the independence. Then there are things I long to forget: midterms, finals, shower shoes, and the French professor with smeared lipstick whose mug of morning "tea" smelled vaguely of vodka...and most importantly being BROKE.
If college was expensive when I attended about two decades ago, then I don't even want to think about what it costs now. I recall the shock and offense I felt when I went to purchase the textbooks for my classes. I, a book lover my whole life, never knew books could be so darn expensive!! I remember telling my mom I needed book money for my classes and she tried to give me $40....$40?!?! I laughed and told her I couldn't buy half a book with $40.
When I started the Urban Flower Project back in 2002, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the lives of students, I just didn't know how. It wasn't until 2012 that the answer came to me: I decided I wanted to offer a scholarship for students headed to college, so I began the Book Fairy Book Scholarship program. When I was in college, I witnessed students trying to get by in their classes without the textbooks, and I am thankful I was never one of them. So, if I could help out a few students every year, and be their Book Fairy, if you will, then I am grateful for the opportunity to do so. You can be a Book Fairy as well. A simple donation goes a long way. Interested students enter an essay contest and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners are selected and awarded scholarships. The contest opens in January, closes in March, and scholarships are awarded in June. The goal of the Book Fairy Book Scholarship is to help college students pick up a book (or two)!