I specifically remember in high school, just as I was beginning to discover the world, learning about Italy. Someone once asked me that time-honored question, if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Italy was my immediate answer. I fell in love with the art, the architecture, the history, the food, the cathedrals – all of it.
Now, as a college student, I have the opportunity to go there. I will get to see the ruins of the Coliseum, smell the inside of the Sistine Chapel, and finally (oh, finally) taste authentic Italian food. It’s been a long journey working up to this point, and I want to share some of that with you.
I don’t come from a wealthy family. We are certainly not poor, but my parents don’t have $5000 to send me around the world just laying around somewhere! Spare for some serious generosity around Christmas and birthday time, I earned every penny I have for this trip. A majority of the funding came from last summer, where I worked three different jobs to try and save up. Granted, two of them were internships – but they were paid! Between two internships and a night job at Applebee’s, I worked somewhere around 50-60 hours per week last summer to save up for this trip. During the school year I have worked between two and three jobs as well, pushing myself to work as much as I can while still honoring my first priority: school. I have applied for three different scholarships so far, one of which has replied with an unfortunate “no,” but I am still holding out on the other two. For over a year now I’ve been hustling and pushing, working over breaks and holidays, 9am-2am, stopping only for dinner – and it still isn’t enough.
Today I enjoyed the celebration of paying for the trip – over $4,000 to secure my plane ticket, my hotel rooms, transportation in the city, and even some of the places we will visit during our time! All I am missing is the last $1,300 to pay for the credit. I am going to continue working, serving, picking up shifts and extra hours to pay for this trip, but I realized something today:
I have asked the institution for help, I’ve begged my parents, but I have yet to open the door to you guys, my friends, loved ones, and extended family. I have not given you the opportunity to help. I’m not going to expect it of you, nor will I look at you differently if you can’t contribute, but if you have a $20 laying around, perhaps it could go to me. Once I pay for the credit, I will still need money to spend in Italy! I would hate to make it there to only eat sandwiches from our hotel fridge! So here are a few ways you could help me get to Italy:
1) Pray. Oh my gosh, pray. These scholarships would make all the difference, and I know that God tells us not to worry about money, but that is so hard to do!
2) Donate. You can donate to me at paypal.me/jessiedion1 with your PayPal account. If you don’t have one, you can send a check my way to
4201 S. Washington St.
741 Student Center
Marion, IN 46953
Literally anything helps at this point, friends. I am at the precipice of the trip of my dreams, and I am so excited to go! But before I despair over lack of funds, I wanted to give you all a chance to support me.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this, even if prayers are all you can offer – I truly believe they are worth more than gold. Thank you, also, for being there for me in this super awesome (yet scary!) time, and walking alongside me all these years.
I love you all! Keep doing what you do. I can’t wait until May to see Italy, the land of my dreams, and to send you all pictures 🙂
With all my love,