My name is Samuel Selassie Ferguson. I was born in Chicago, Illinois born on July 10, 1999. For eighteen years I have grown up in the South Shore neighborhood, a drug infested neighborhood where homicides occurred frequently, unfortunately. Without the support of a father figure, I grew up in a single-parent household with my mother and my brother. For the duration of my life, finances in my household were unstable which caused us to face a series of hardships that we’d later overcome. Realizing that I lived in undesirable circumstances, I realized the importance of applying myself in order to improve the infrastructure of my family and pave a foundation of success for those who will come after me.
I have always been an advocate of defying the odds and breaking typical stereotypes that are placed upon young black men. Coming from my neighborhood, there have been countless times where I could have became a product of my environment. However, with the help of various mentors and my aim to eradicate negative stigmas of African American males, I have worked vigorously in the academic and social realms of my life to ensure that we are shown in a positive light. Some of my work includes organizing youth summits that empowered young black males to being personal mentors to black students at my high school.
In the fall I will be attending Pomona College which is located in Claremont, California. With the help of the Posse Scholarship Foundation, I have been offered a full-tuition scholarship to one of the top liberal arts institutions in the nation. In addition, I have received financial assistance from other scholarship organizations that have allowed my dream of attending college more realistic.
One of the greatest opportunities I’ve been offered was being able to study abroad in Asuncion, Paraguay for two months, immersing myself in the country’s exotic culture and indulging myself in an environment where Spanish was the only language I spoke and heard. This experience has made me realize my passion for learning Spanish, a passion I hope to grow as I matriculate into college, as I have realized that being a man of color and being bilingual will offer me endless opportunities beyond my college experience.