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2019 Scholarship Winner: Timothy Sheehan

2019 SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: Timothy Sheehan
2019 SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: Timothy Sheehan
2019 Scholarship Winner: Timothy Sheehan

I am writing this essay today to explain my college journey and how I turned my life around and became a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society while maintaining a 3.71 GPA at DCCC, and how obtaining a scholarship will help me continue my education and reach my academic goals. Education is the most important aspect to become successful and reach your career goals and obtaining a scholarship would help me tremendously in reaching those goals.

Let me start by giving some background on myself, I grew up in a single parent home, my mother did what she could for me, but she was not educated or skilled in a certain career, so she had to settle for a minimum wage job. We were lucky enough to get assistance from the government and my mother was accepted for the section 8 program. Section 8 is a housing program where the government helps pay for your rent based on the applicant’s income. I was very young, but I can remember thinking this was so amazing because it allowed us to move to Ridley Township closer to where the rest of my family lived. I was in for a rude awakening as things got much worse in my life when we had made that move, my mother got tied up with my uncle who was a drug addict and shortly after my mom became living the same lifestyle as him. My life changed very fast as now there was no guidance in my life, and I was pretty much fending for myself. I can still remember it like it was yesterday, coming home with homework to do and there was no one there to help me, there was no one there to show me guidance and tell me what time to be in or when to go to bed. Time continued to pass and I found myself looking for guidance and looking for attention from anyone who would give it to me, this did not go the way I had thought it would have and I fell right into the trap and was now hanging around the same people I so badly wanted to stay away from a few years prior.

The years continued to pass, and I continued to act reckless, education was very tough for me and I was always getting bad grades and getting in trouble. When I now look back on it, I see that it was me not having no guidance and not applying myself. I held resentments against my own mother, so even though I know it’s wrong now at the time when teachers or authority tried telling me what to do, I looked at them as my own mother doesn’t tell me what to do, who do you think you are. Obviously, this was not the right way to act and if I hadn’t acted this way maybe I could have received the help from them I so desperately needed.

In 2001 what I have been so desperately wanting to happen finally came to fruition, the one and the only person I ever wanted attention from finally got clean and sober, my mother. My mom now with a clear mind seen how bad I was struggling and how bad I was doing in school and she decided to pack us up and move to Aston. I’d love to sit here and say that the move changed everything for the better, but that is not how the story goes. I moved to Aston and the same continued with me, I was still acting out and it was showing in my academics. At this time, I was ready to give up and was getting ready to settle for defeat, thinking that I was just not a smart kid and would never be successful. I went to the principal’s office and told the Vice Principal at Sun Valley Ms. Brody that I was going to be dropping out of school. She then tried to everything she could to talk me out of it, but my mind was set in stone I thought. She left the office for what I thought was to get the papers, she came back with my mother and an Aston township police officer. Looking back at it now this must be one of the best days of my life because I did not drop out of school that day, they had scared me so much I stayed in school. Detective Hardy told me that if I had dropped out of school that I would be sent to jail, that is all I needed to hear and all the tough I thought I was went right out the window. Ms. Brody knew that I had learning disabilities so she decided with me and my mom that a night school program they offered might be the best way for me to be able to make it through high school and get a diploma. I agreed that this was the best step for me and began doing the night school program, I applied myself to the best of my abilities and in 2005 was walking down the aisle receiving my high school diploma, something I never thought was even remotely possible.

I went on from high school directly into work, instead of furthering my education which I now realize was a mistake. In 2006 I found myself following in the same footsteps of my mother and uncle years prior. I had fallen into addiction and my life had become a downward spiral. I had become addicted to heroin, and street life had become my life. I was in North Philadelphia daily doing whatever was necessary to get the next one and make sure I was able to get my drug. I must say this is hard to type because I am such a great person and don’t want to be judged on this part of my life, but this is a big part of my life that has gotten me to where I am today. My drug use continued for years and at times I found myself homeless on the streets of Philadelphia with nowhere to go and a depression I thought I would never get out of. In 2011 what I believe to be a higher power I choose to call god reached down and did what I was never going to be able to do for myself, he put me in jail. I sit here today and must say I am super grateful for that jail cell, it saved my life. While incarcerated I told myself that I was going to change my whole life around and was going to be a success story and would not let anything stop me from doing so. This would be the hardest battle of my life, but I knew what kind of person I was inside and knew how capable I was if I applied myself.

Since 2011 I have never looked back and have been clean and sober ever since, and I like to say that is the year I was reborn, and God gave me a second chance at life and I was not going to let him or myself down. I got myself a good job and for the next few years just worked and was living life as a productive member of society, while working this job I always wanted to go back to school and continue my education. Now with a clear mind I knew with the right dedication I would be a great student and would be able to apply myself and pursue the career and academic goals I’ve always wanted. My financial situation had me second guessing school because I had no money saved up and I knew that once I was in school, I would have to leave my job and focus on school. I decided I wasn’t going to let this fear stop me and in 2017 I applied to DCCC and was back in school at the start of the spring semester. I applied to financial aid and thankfully I was accepted, I did run into a roadblock though, as it was brought to my attention that Penn Delco school district was a non-sponsoring area so I would have to pay double to amount that a sponsoring student pays. Hearing this news was very scary for me and I thought as fast as my schooling started, just as fast it was going to end. My counselor explained to me I could take loans out to cover the rest of the tuition I had owed, even though that is something I didn’t want to do was get in loan debt, I was determined and was going to do whatever was necessary to make sure I was able to continue my education. I did get accepted for the loans and was now a student at DCCC and I couldn’t be happier.

I had gotten back into school, and now my goals were to make honors and make sure I applied myself to the best of my ability and make sure I take in this whole experience and take advantage of my second chance and learn as much as I can to better my life. My major is Network Engineering and my goal is to become an IT security tech in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I have stayed focused and applied myself since I have started school and the rewards are starting to show. Something I thought was never possible and honestly was never even thought of I am a member of PHI THETA KAPPA Honor Society and am also a member of The National Technical Honor Society while maintaining a 3.71 GPA. I must say I was so emotional when receiving the honor to join these programs when the invitations were sent to me in the mail when I opened them, I literally began to cry my eyes out, this was one of the proudest moments of my life. I turned my life completely around and I always knew I could it was just always about having the courage and motivation to do so. I now like to go to drug and alcohol programs when I can and tell them my story and let them know there is hope still left and that if I can do it, so can you and if I can be of any help do not hesitate to ask. My goals now are to continue my education and to maintain a high honors GPA and continue to work towards my long-term goal which is becoming an employee for the FBI. Receiving a scholarship from you would mean the world to me and would help me be able to continue to better my life and eventually reach my goals.

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