April-Michelle Thomas (C’15)

Thomas grew up in a single-parent household with her mother and younger brother in Carteret, N.J.

She toured Georgetown on her 17th birthday and instantly fell in love—making Georgetown her first choice of colleges. “It was gorgeous outside. My tour guide was awesome. Everybody who I met was amazing. I actually sat in on an anthropology class,” said Thomas, a recently declared anthropology major.

However, when the first-generation college student began applying to schools, she and her mother were astonished by the cost of tuition. Regardless, Thomas applied to the eight schools. “I knew that somehow I would make it work,” she said.

‘It’s Like a Dream’

Thomas’ favorite quote is from Paul Coeho’s The Alchemist: “If you really want something, the universe will conspire to help you get it.” She considers her scholarship proof of that.

“I got a magic little letter on a beautiful day when I came home from school, and I had a full ride to Georgetown,” said Thomas. “It’s like a dream. It’s almost surreal sometimes.”

A Life-Changing Experience

Thomas says of those who support scholarships: “How is it possible that all of these people, who don’t know anything about me, are able to have such an impact on my life and give a gift that enables me to do things I never thought possible, just out of the kindness of their heart? I just opened a letter and my whole life changed. It’s amazing what a scholarship can do.”

The scholarship has changed Thomas’ life, first and foremost, by relocating her from New Jersey, where she had lived her entire life, to Washington, D.C., and by exposing her to the rich culture and history of the area. Thomas said it has also enabled her to study things she never dreamed of, like the Middle East and Arab culture. She hopes to work for Teach For America upon graduating.