I am pleased to be able to say that I am a brand new Demon Deacon! I am excited to be here and this opportunity is only possible because of the generosity of Dr. Ralph Bland. Due to the generosity of a man who loved Wake Forest, it is possible for me, and other students like me, to come to Wake Forest. I would now like to tell you about the journey that brought me to Wake Forest School of Law.
I started thinking about getting a legal education when I was in high school. I continued to think about it throughout high school and college. It was during my time as an undergraduate, that I finally decided to go to law school. I always knew that I wanted to do something important and I knew law school would provide me with opportunities and avenues for creating a positive change in the world. I spent a long time researching law schools and eventually applied to three law schools.
After applying, I narrowed my choice to either Wake Forest or another school, which offered me a fellowship if I accepted their offer of admission. While I was honored by their offer, I knew that I wanted to attend Wake Forest. The first time I heard about Wake Forest I fell in love with the law school. It had everything I wanted: it’s located in the south, it’s a competitive but not cutthroat atmosphere, and it has a community atmosphere. I had talked with several people who had knowledge about Wake Forest and they all told me that it was a very welcoming environment. It had small class sizes, which was a big plus for me because I came from a small undergraduate college. I was also excited because Wake Law had a summer study abroad program in London.
The only problem was that Wake Forest hadn’t offered me a scholarship yet. I often told people that money didn’t matter, I was going to Wake Forest no matter what, but the unfortunate truth is that it did. I was lucky enough to survive college the first time without taking out student loans, but I knew that my foray into law school was going to be fully funded by loans. Although I believe that law school is worth the investment, it is still tough knowing that I was going to be in major debt after law school.
I visited Wake Forest and fell even more in love with it. The minute I stepped onto campus I felt like I belonged here. I wanted to be here. Everyone I met here was extremely warm and welcoming. My trip was a last minute plan, but the law did everything they could to make my trip work out. I was given a tour of the law school by a student who seemed to genuinely enjoy being at Wake and was very helpful in answering any questions I had.
Although I was falling in love with Wake Forest more by the second, I was still hesitant. I really wanted to be here, but I was not sure how it was going to work out. Then it happened. During my meeting with Melanie Nutt, I got the best news of my life. I was offered the David Hendry Bland and W. Powell Bland Law Scholarship. This scholarship was the answer to my prayers. The very generous donation by Dr. Ralph Bland was going to allow me to accept admission to Wake Forest Law and study at the place I so desperately wanted to attend. I was ecstatic when I was told about the scholarship; I spent all day with a huge smile on my face because my dream of studying at Wake Law was going to come true. I felt honored to be awarded a scholarship and was even more grateful when I learned that this is the first year that the scholarship has been awarded.
My first semester at Wake Law has been everything I hoped it would be and more. The work is challenging, but all of my professors genuinely care about the success of their students and have been more than willing to help me out when I have questions. I was afraid that it would be hard to make friends at law school because everyone would be so focused on their work and not interested in meeting people, but that’s not the case here. I have made several close friends and have thoroughly every second of my time here.
When I graduate from Wake Law in three years I plan on going into the criminal law field. Ideally I would like to work with the FBI or the State Department using my legal education to combat sex trafficking. I want to be able to take everything I have learned and will learn here at Wake and help others. Eventually, I would also like to teach at a law school. I have had great experiences here at Wake Law with my professors and I would hope that if I teach one day I can provide the same support and care to other future lawyers.
This generous scholarship has also given me a greater appreciation for the opportunities that are provided by the donations of others. In the future I hope to be able to help other students just like me achieve their dreams.
I am thankful everyday for the scholarship I was given. This scholarship has allowed me to pursue my dreams. Although the semester is coming to an end, and everything is getting busy, I am thankful for being here in the middle of it all. I greatly appreciate my scholarship and the opportunities it has provided me with. I want to thank the Bland family for coming here today and for supporting the donation of Dr. Ralph Bland. It is hard to put into words how much I appreciate the generous donation he made. His donation is allowing me to attend Wake Law and for that I am eternally grateful.