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The 13th Year Scholarship Changed My Life

My experience with the 13th year scholarship has been life changing. Not having to pay for college is something that I wish would happen everywhere else. The opportunity to attend college for free is truly a blessing, and I am very grateful.

I applied for the 13th year scholarship during my senior year in high school and the program has changed my life ever since. Knowing that your classes have been paid off is a huge relief and saved not only me but my parents a lot of stress. In turn, I worry more about my classwork and less on how I am going to pay for college. My first quarter I managed to make it on the deans list with a 3.8 GPA. It was a great way to start off the year.

The 13th year exposed me to all resources that exist on campus. This was very helpful because I learned where to go if a problem rises or if you need tutoring. I joined TRIO which helps students with disadvantaged backgrounds to successfully enter and complete post-secondary education. They have been nothing but helpful and I am very excited to work for them this fall as a peer mentor.

This experience has also given me the chance to meet new students as well as staff. Meeting other students helped me feel more comfortable with the school. Staff are now familiar faces and I know I can go to them if I have any questions throughout my time at school.

I was at the press conference when Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that she was expanding the 13th year scholarship into the Seattle Promise Scholarship which added another free year of school for me and my classmates. I was excited and grateful for the opportunity to continue my studies and very happy that the mayor was opening more opportunities up for the youth.

I am very excited to be one of the first to receive the 14th Year scholarship and have no doubt that will help other students not only think about attending college but applying and finishing school. My transition into my sophomore year has been going smoothly so far and I’m glad the Seattle Promise staff have continue to guide me though the steps involved with my second year of college.

After my 2 years at South Seattle College I plan on attending the University of Washington and will pursue a bachelor’s degree in business.

This guest post was written by Pedro Reynaga, a 13th Year scholar and summer intern for the Mayor’s Office. He will be continuing on as a 14th Year scholar thanks to Mayor Jenny’s Seattle Promise program.