By Cole Nickolls
After winning Student of the Year, my life changed forever. My community celebrated my accomplishments and allowed me to branch off and meet many respected individuals in countless career fields.
Not only has TCP changed my life, they have become my family. Each staff member has a story, just like every student does too. They are able to connect and relate to the youth of our area by influencing them to be future leaders of America. This is what The Challenge Program is all about. They inspire young adults and help guide them in achieving their future career goals and aspirations.
As for me, the connections have been endless since I️ won Student of the Year. I was gratefully put in contact with a college advisor who has helped me immensely throughout the college admissions process. She encouraged me to challenge myself and submit the best applications possible for the schools I️ applied to.
Many other opportunities arose, as well, in the past year. I️ was named a Coca-Cola Regional Finalist Scholar! After writing many critical essays and going through interview processes, I️ was picked from over 100,000 seniors nationwide to be put in the Top 250 to become a scholar. Words cannot describe how amazing this opportunity was. During the scholarship and college admissions process, many interviewers asked about my Student of the Year award out of curiosity. I️ went on to explain the importance of service involvement in our communities and how TCP prepares students for the challenges of tomorrow. They each were astonished to hear about this program and how unique it is. Many went on to say how they have, “never seen anything like it” and that it is “one of a kind.” It truly is amazing to spread this uplifting message of hope for students just like me. This is when I️ realized that TCP is so much more than a program, it is an educational movement. They are able to bring high school students together from a variety of different backgrounds and give them the opportunity to make connections at the collegiate level and in the workforce!
This program is monumental. I️ have a vision as well as so many others do that see the potential in this becoming a nationwide program. There are so many students out there that are in need and I️ cannot think of a better group of people to help besides The Challenge Program. It is with much gratitude that I️ thank the TCP family for changing my life. But, it doesn’t end here. It’s time to be the change the world so desperately needs. I️ know TCP is already one step ahead in challenging students across the region to be prepared and equipped to make a difference in the world.