As an immigrant from West Africa and the eldest of four siblings raised by a single mother, Diallo grew up accustomed to financial hardship. College didn’t seem like a viable option – not for a lack of desire, but because she thought it was only available for those with deep pockets.
Diallo now knows that her thoughts about college were misconceptions. As a senior at MacArthur High School, she has a plan after graduation – and it most definitely starts with higher education, thanks to Dallas County Promise.
Dallas County Promise is an initiative focused on helping Dallas County students go to college. High school seniors are asked to complete three simple steps: sign the Dallas County Pledge, apply for financial aid through the FAFSA or TASFA and complete the Dallas County College application, along with other partner university applications that honor the Dallas County Promise. There’s no income requirement, no application essay and no GPA requirement.
Students, just like Diallo, complete the three steps to become a Dallas County Promise scholar and are provided up to three years of college tuition totaling $75,000 or more.
Diallo is incredibly grateful for this financial assistance because it’s giving her an opportunity she once deemed unattainable.
“The Dallas County Promise will help me achieve my goals because of all the financial help that they provide. We won’t be in debt because we won’t have a lot of tuition to pay,” she says. “I feel like that’s something to be grateful for. You just go straight into the work field and you don’t have to worry about other unnecessary bills.”
So far, Diallo has applied to Dallas County College, Texas Woman’s University and Texas A&M University – Commerce. She plans to major in pre-medicine and minor in business entrepreneurship with the hopes of owning a pediatric clinic.
“My dreams have changed a little bit. I want to do bigger things than I thought before,” she says. “I want to do more and give back to the community. I’ve struggled as a kid financially. I’ve been through a lot. I want to do more so other children don’t feel the same.”
Seniors wanting the same opportunity as Diallo are encouraged to visit IrvingISD.net/DallasCountyPromise to learn about the steps for a brighter future.