I won't disclose the name of the student who is getting some of his/her trip paid from through Tony's donation, but I will share with you the essay that was written to qualify.
Do me a favor. Read it. You will know what your donations go to: It does not go to overhead, it goes directly to helping others. Here is the essay with almost zero changes:
"I started high school at about the same time my mom was forced to quit college. She had to take care of my younger brother, and this took up most of her time, so she couldn’t work either. As a result of this, I had to begin working in the ninth grade in order to pay for the things I needed and wanted. Since I was working a full time job and going to school, I seldom had free time, and therefore didn’t get to do any volunteer work in high school. Now that I’m in college, my situation has changed. I now have the time, but I no longer have the money. I want to go on the BonaResponds trip because I want to do now what I didn’t get the chance to do in high school. I want to help people, and give back to the community, even if it’s not my own.
I deserve sponsorship for this trip because making someone else’s life better makes me happy. I take satisfaction in knowing that I made a positive difference in society.
I also deserve sponsorship because I know what it’s like to have life throw an unanticipated curve at you. Sometimes a minor adjustment such as finding employment, like in my situation, is all that’s necessary in order to solve the problem. However, this isn’t always the case for everyone, and I know that a lot of times people need the help of others to pick themselves up. I’d like to be one of those people that help others in their journey to start over and become stronger. I would be disappointed if all of my helpfulness and good will don’t get put to good use simply because of a matter of money."
I hate asking for money. We really do not need much. I would rather have a volunteer for a day that a $100 donation (I am confident you can return more than $12.50 an hour ;) ). But it does take some money to help people travel etc. And this is our way of saying thank you to the donors who made this trip possible for a student who would otherwise not be able to help.