Junior Lennon Hobson, a dance major and theatre minor, is the recipient of a CFA Council Scholarship, a J.T. Lanni Family Scholarship and a scholarship from the Strople Family Endowment. She shared this first-hand perspective of how being a scholarship recipient has affected her college experience.
My gratitude seems weak in writing; because unless you’ve been the recipient at such a dark time of something as impactful as this scholarship, I don’t think anyone can truly know the weight it holds.
When my older sister, Emily, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2009, we had no idea how it would affect our family. The doctors prescribed a rigorous chemotherapy regimen for this rare and aggressive cancer. While all my friends went off to college, I stayed home with my family. I watched my mom take Emily to chemo daily and learned to be independent but it was difficult to do at only 18 years old. Dance was my escape from all the pain as I have been a dancer since I was six years old. I wanted to go to college to dance, but I decided to stay home because of my sister’s diagnosis. The first time she was diagnosed in remission I remember thinking that dancing in college was a realistic option. When I was accepted to Loyola Marymount University I knew that financially it would be difficult for my family to afford. My parents are small business owners and the economic crash hit us hard. When my parents couldn’t get a loan for my freshman year, I had to take one out. Even after watching my sister go through chemotherapy a loan in my name still looked terrifying.
When I received a scholarship the only thing I could do was cry. With medical and hospital bills, medications and groceries my family needed a financial break and something to be proud of. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of a generous scholarship award. As a full-time dance major I work multiple jobs, take over 18 units a semester, and perform outside of LMU. I am so grateful for the scholarships I received because it helped ease my mind. I am honored to have received this award and my sister is so proud of me. My parents breathe a little easier knowing they can focus on medical bills and not worry so much about paying back my loans. Even though Emily still fights every day for her life, she says it gives her comfort to picture me at school doing what I love to do and pursuing my passion for dance and the arts at LMU.
– Lennon Hobson