Promise Zone student receives #BecauseWeWill education award. 

February 28, 2022

Samantha Goodman

Promise Zone student receives #BecauseWeWill education award. 

WSCC News is a presentation of West Shore Community College in partnership with Mason County Press. 

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — Samantha Goodman, a West Shore Community College Student and Mason County Promise Scholar from Fountain, was recently selected for a 2022 #BecauseWeWill $1000 education award.  #BecauseWeWill is a new student voices campaign, sponsored in part by the national College Promise organization and Kresge Foundation.  The award’s purpose is to empower students to reimagine higher education as “a more affordable, accessible and equitable” ecosystem, according the College Promise website. Promise Scholars from across the nation were invited to apply by telling their story of overcoming obstacles to get to college.  

Goodman is a graduate of Mason County Eastern High School and is also currently taking courses from Ferris State University. She is also working two jobs. As part of her story for the campaign, she explained about growing up with a disability.

“I have Autism Spectrum Disorder, and with this disability I needed extra assistance to learn at the same pace as others,” she said. “I had speech class because I couldn’t communicate very clearly—words or emotions.” 

Diagnosed as a toddler, the support she received in school was essential to her success in socializing and academics, and though she is now an adult, she hasn’t stopped improving.  According to Goodman, “college really helped me too, especially communication courses.”  

Goodman decided to apply for the #BecauseWeWill award because she read other students’ testimonies about persisting in college despite an illness or complex family circumstances.  In Goodman’s application, she explained the challenges she’s overcome. 

“The application helped me reflect on my own life, and how my Autism has played a role in my life and my growth as an individual,” she shared.  Goodman, who plans to use her award at Ferris State in the fall, said that she sees more challenges and opportunities for growth ahead. 

“There are still going to be challenges that I face with going to a new college. Life changes don’t make me stop working to overcome things that will come my way.”

The #BecauseWeWill campaign will allow Goodman to share her story during national College Promise student and professional conferences in 2022.  This is the first year the award, which started in 2021, was open to any Promise Scholar in the nation.  

Goodman encourages all local Promise Scholars to apply for awards and scholarships and to keep trying. “It’s a true honor to work hard and to keep trying to accomplish any goals despite anything that might impact you—don’t give up,” she said. 

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