Rachael David, Scholarship Recipient

Rachael David, Scholarship Recipient


I come from a family of three girls just outside
of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with two parents who proudly boast Penn State degrees. I’ve
been attending Penn State football games for as long as I can remember and own a stuffed
animal with the name of Blue White to this very day.
​I grew up in a typical household where I was taught proper discipline and the meaning
of hard work, but it wasn’t until high school when I truly learned the value of a dollar.
During my sophomore year, I began my first job as a hostess and table busser at a local
family owned restaurant near my house. Though I would have preferred to spend my paychecks
on makeup and clothes, the real reason I began work was to pay for a car. My father had told
both me and my sisters that he was willing to pay for half but we would have to come
up with our end of the bargain first. ​On my very first day on the job, I worked
a typical four hour shift and couldn’t believe how exhausted I was when the day was done.
Just as I finished cleaning up the dirtiest table I’d ever seen, I got a text from my
dad that I can still remember. It said, “Hi, sweetie. I know you’re probably just about
done now and you’re probably exhausted and your feet probably hurt but I want you to
know one thing. The reason you work so hard in school is so you can choose a job one day
that you truly love.” I will never forget those words or that day because I consider
it to be one of the most important lessons I have learned from my father and there have
been many. ​From then on out, I continued working and
kept up with my schooling and when the time came to apply for colleges I think you can
guess which one was first on my list. Despite the fact that I knew how much of a financial
burden this would be for my family, who were at the time also putting my older sister through
nursing school, I never heard a word of doubt and we knew exactly where I was going. We
all knew the importance of higher education and the associated costs, but we also knew
the power of the Penn State College of Communications. ​When I got to school, I had the typical
freshman year experience. Meeting my best friend in the dorms, going to all the pep
rallies and just focusing on getting through my gen eds. It was my sophomore year, however,
when I began to take advantage of the incredible opportunities offered at this college. I attended
Bob Martin’s famous resume’ and internship workshops, I got involved in a number of organizations
and I visited my rock star advisors at least twice a semester. I started to see the camaraderie
that existed in Carnegie and I was proud to call myself a student of the College of Communications.
​As they absorbed the costs of multiple internships, trip costs and travel expenses,
my parents still remained silent on our increasing financial strain. Even with my younger sister
beginning college at West Chester University and my older sister beginning to plan a wedding,
I didn’t hear a peep. Every time I would express any kind of concern over the mounting costs
and expenses and question how we could possibly afford what was happening, my father had three
words for me. “We’ll figure it out,” the same three words his mother had told him when he
was going through school. Thanks to the Penn State University, the College of Communications
and my generous donor, I can stand in front of you today and say that we did figure it
out. ​It is with tremendous gratitude and relief
that I stand here before you and say thank you all for your generosity, kindness and
support. I am now a senior attending my dream university and enjoying every second of my
time left in Happy Valley. I can’t express to you in words how much this honor and this
night means to me, but I hope I have helped you better understand why I and the many other
students here tonight are eternally grateful and forever proud to be members of the Penn
State College of Communications.

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