top of page

Meet Jaissiah, Mott Family Scholarship Recipient


Growing up, I was surrounded by family and friends who valued education. My friends and I would encourage each other to be the best and we often had friendly competitions over who would get the best grade on a test or paper. We all had our eyes on college and everywhere I turned, my friends were in my corner, motivating me to be my best self.

That all changed when I turned 17 and my family and I moved to a new town. I felt a little lost and alone and desperate to make friends and fit in with the new crowd. Unfortunately, I fell into the wrong crowd. The kids I surrounded myself with lacked motivation, didn’t value education and never thought about college, and were very negative about everything. I started to change to fit in and became the person they wanted me to be. I was not following my mom’s rules, I was coming home late, my grades dropped, and school was no longer my priority. I started smoking and lacked any focus. My goals were forgotten, and I became more negative about everything and everyone.


Only 2 weeks shy of heading to college, I hit bottom. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and found myself in the middle of a situation that I could not understand and did not want to participate in. People were hurt and the shock of what happened, what I participated in, hit me hard. I had immediately remorse and was devastated by the person I had become – it was not the real me.


I was sent to secure detention and for the first several months, I didn’t want to eat, I couldn’t sleep, and I was unmotivated to do anything. The weight of my actions was a lot to bare and I spent much time processing what had happened and how my life took such a turn for the worse. I told my dad this would never happen to me and here I was sitting in a room by myself in a


secure detention facility – I let him down and for that, I felt at my lowest.


I already had my high school diploma and thought college was no longer in my future until I started talking with some of my staff and really listening to their advice and guidance. Instead of focusing on what I did wrong, I started reflecting on the decisions I made and how I could do things differently.


My staff encouraged me and made me feel like there was hope. I had a chance and a choice to still be who I wanted to be.

My teachers told me about the Mott Family Scholarship and strongly encouraged me to apply. I didn’t think I had a chance but applied anyway. In August 2021, I found out that I would be the first youth from secure detention to become a Mott Family Scholarship recipient! I was in shock and my parents cried. I finally had something to be proud of and it made me feel good to see them proud of me. I was told that everyone at Berkshire believes in me and can see my potential – this made me start to believe in myself again.


Now, I’m working on my Entrepreneurial and Small Business Certification. I want to start my own business and be self-made. I’m exploring college again for the first time in a long time and have the staff at Berkshire to thank for it - Thank you for awakening me and helping me open my eyes by putting me under pressure to face myself and realize I have so much more ahead of me. You helped me regain my self-worth and my drive to get back to the person I want to be.


Someday, I want to come back and speak to other youth to let them know I walked in their shoes and there is another path - a better path. Grow from your mistakes and choose to make better choices. Sometimes, just having one person who cares is all you need.


61 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page