Our Scholars

Andrew Benally Headshot

Andrew Bennaly

“I want our students across Maricopa to know that no matter how bad life is, we can always improve it. I am living proof that you can go from being homeless to the Ivy Leagues. Hard work, determination and dedication to our dreams, outweigh any obstacles life throws at us.”

“I grew up in poverty, abandoned by my mother when I was around 5. I had a dark chaotic childhood dictated by a violent alcoholic father. With such a volatile childhood, you learn quickly how the real world works. I’ve experienced homelessness as a child and as an adult.”

“After I worked a few political campaigns, I noticed all the candidates had one thing in common, an education. They were all attorneys before running for office. I loved how the candidates carried themselves in arguments, debates and articulated grand counter points.”

“After moving to Phoenix, I looked at all the community colleges to see what the cost was to attend full time. Mesa Community College was offering an AA in Judicial studies and I knew this would be a great foundation for my legal career. I concentrated on the Associate in Arts with intent to major in Political Science once I transferred.”

“I am attending Columbia University in fall 2018. I want to become a beacon of hope for all who have lost hope. The most powerful weapon we have at our disposal is knowledge. On my path, I had 100 failures for every one accomplishment. Each failure is another link in my chain, each doubt that comes across my mind is another injection of fear. These chains and injections do not represent who I am. My persistence, determination, and dedication to my goals are who I am. Society will see me working hard and they know that I will never give up. I will inspire hope in others, so they can see that no matter how bad life is, we can improve.”

Andrew is the recipient of the following scholarships: Phi Theta Kappa tuition scholarship from Columbia University, Cobell Scholarship, Coca Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar, Marilyn Campbell & Walt Hodges Scholarship

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