Since the seventh grade, I have dreamed of going to Columbia College in Chicago. I wanted to major in creative writing and become a world-renowned author; I was sure Columbia would put me on the path to my dreams. After four years of high school. though, my goals have changed. I still want to be an author, but I want even more: to be a motivational speaker, a playwright, a creative writing teacher. I believe I can achieve it all.
Back in grade school I also dreamed of becoming the first child in my family to graduate from college. When I first found out I had been accepted to Columbia, I was on a class field trip. I firmly believe that things happen for a reason: this email of acceptance, coming while I was downtown with my classmates, was my deceased father, Marvin, saying “Jalen, this is where you were meant to be.” That’s all a daughter could want from her father: his blessing.
Jalen Isley, St. Edmund Grade School, Oak Park
Columbia College, Chicago