7 on your Side: Where's my scholarship?

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Nina Pineda has 7 on your Side. (WABC)

The mistakes she made as a girl growing up in Newark are extremely hard to speak about, but Deseannah Reagan wants others to know they can turn themselves around.

"I was just in a really tough space then," Deseannah says, "you reached the lowest point, and you think you're not going to make it, there's such a mountain to climb."

Deseannah did it by putting pen to paper and writing poetry while in juvenile detention. She wrote about her loneliness, her remorse and wrote about finding peace through her love for the mom and family who adopted and saved her. She submitted her poems to an NAACP scholarship contest at 15.

"It was a way to escape and get away from what was going on at the time," Deseannah adds.

Her words won over the judges.

"They told me when I attended college it would be put toward tuition," she said.

Encouraged by the contest and her family, Deseannah graduated high school and enrolled at Middlesex Community College, but when she contacted the non-profit to get her scholarship award? Deseannah says she sent emails and text messages, but they never got back in touch.

That was in August, when the incoming freshman was scrambling to cover costs.

"It's only $500, but it helps with books and could help the school - the classes are so much also," Deseannah adds.

In September, a regional director of the charity asked for ID verification to pay the tuition directly - months later, still nothing.

"I was upset because it was something I won - it was in my name, poetry I wrote" Deseannah says, "you feel good about yourself because you're expecting to get what they give you."

So, 7 on your Side got in touch with the NAACP, and they responded within three days. Within 72 hours, the scholarship money was applied to her tuition; 6 years after the power of her pen released an angry teenage girl who never dreamed she'd make it to college.

"In 10 years, 5 years, 2 years, you've got to find something inside you that's pushing you that says 'I can do it' - find that voce inside of you that says 'I can do it!'" Deseannah says.
Related Topics:
education7 On Your Sidecollegecollege studentscholarshipmoneyNAACPNewark
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