It’s difficult to realize your dream when money is involved. Sometimes it’s just not feasible if you can’t afford it.

That’s why Leon Valdez II applied for the Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) scholarship. It was his dream to attend Columbia College in Chicago, and without the generosity of FEC, he doesn’t know if he could attend without going into major debt.

Leon, a graduate of East Chicago Central High School, received a $5,000 scholarship to Columbia, where he is working toward his major in Contemporary Urban and Popular Music Composition with a minor in Arts Management.

His advice to younger students who are considering applying for the scholarship is to practice diligence early on because it is the little things that count. Many students have missed their chance of attending their dream school or receiving a scholarship because they showed apathy their freshman and sophomore years.

“Be responsible and accountable, take pride in your work, go above and beyond, and make moves in silence,” he recommended to younger students.

Leon would like to thank FEC for allowing him to pursue his dream without worrying if he could afford it.

“There shouldn’t be a price on a dream, but there is…and without FEC I couldn’t afford to chase mine.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about the FEC scholarship program.

Leon Valdez