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  • Che Maeva

It's Not Over until I Win: How I made it to McGill University on a MasterCard Full Scholarship

At McGill University in Montreal studying with other MasterCard Scholars!

When I was about to give up on college applications out of Cameroon, I watched an inspirational video titled "A NO preparing you for a better YES ahead." I believe GOD sent this message to inspire me to keep working hard and this video helped me rise again and begin afresh. I had applied to many colleges during my first year as an Open-Dreams scholar, but none of the decisions I received was positive - Yes, I got admitted into some colleges and I was offered partial scholarships but the rest of the money I had to pay was much my family can never afford it. I come from a family of 4 and my dad who is retired is diabetic and hypertensive and needs constant medical attention. It was difficult working on college applications and preparing for the Advanced Level exams. I was lucky to be a member of Open Dreams at that time. All the encouragement and advice I needed to keep pushing hard, I got from my mentor and counselors at Open Dreams . Also, I was provided all the textbooks I needed to study and prepare for the SAT and TOEFL exams and these exams and the expenses incurred during the trip to Yaoundé and back were paid for by Open Dreams. I had no need to worry about application fees or paying for the college board to send my scores to colleges because Open Dreams handled this for me. The help and support I received went a long way to reduce the load I had.

My faith grew after I watched the inspirational video and I decided not to consider any disappointment as being bad but to work harder and each time I failed, I failed forward: Not considering the failures behind but searching for the success ahead. I decided that the journey was not over until I won no matter how long or rough the road may look. I changed my strategy and focused on schools that I was sure offered full rides to international students but before anything, I sought God's blessings and approval. I prayed like I had never done before, and I was blessed more than I could ever expect at the end: I was offered the Mastercard full four-year scholarship to McGill University and four other scholarships which I turned down. From my experience, I learned that though we fail in life, what differentiates us from others is how we react towards the failure: either fail backward or fail forward. I spent my summer in Cameroon Volunteering at the Open Dreams center, helping future leaders get a mastery on personal statements needed in the application process, SAT and TOEFL essays needed for their exams and helping with the application process where my help was needed. I got to meet students with potential to change Cameroon, Africa, and the world, and students who were willing to work hard to make sure they changed their communities no matter how hard it was.

I am a Mastercard Scholar in Bio Resource Engineering at McGill University. Coming to Canada has opened my mind to a wider view of the world far from home and how people struggle daily to survive. I acquire knowledge daily to become a better person not just in my academic and working life in the future but also in my social life. I intend to use my degree as a stepping stone, to get connections with worldwide recognized NGO's where I hope to get employed, to create more partnerships and sponsorship for Open Dreams and offer mentorship assistance. I also intend to counsel youth and encourage them to work hard, with patience, trusting always in God so they can achieve their future goals and help in building a better country. I hope that someday every kid in Cameroon grows with the mentality that they can do something to help their community and work hard to achieve this.

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