Luana Deng

Posted on Posted in Alumni Stories

Greetings!

My name is Luana. I graduated from Mercy High School six days ago and I will be attending Vassar College in the fall.

My family’s involvement with Boys Hope Girls Hope started with my brothers and I followed in their footsteps. I was in the 6th grade when my family partnered with BHGH, and seven years later, here we are. I’m flying to New York for college soon, while both my brothers attend UC Davis. Time really does fly, as I’m sure you can relate, and I assure you that it’s as fast for the child as it is for the parents. It’s crazy to think that in just three months I can legally vote and be tried as an adult.

While my brothers have been in the program for several years before me, I didn’t start Girls Hope until my freshman year. At the time, Boys Hope Girls Hope was really Boys Hope, a boys-only residential program. Despite all of that, Suzanne welcomed me as the first girl scholar.

Through the support of Suzanne, I applied to Mercy and was accepted into a scholarship program, called Achieve, and since then Boys Hope Girls Hope has attended all my school meetings, provided me with any financial and academic support, and made my life easier. Because of them, I was also able to excel academically and graduate with excellent grades, though I did unfortunately get an A- in ceramics.

Through these last four years of development, Boys Hope Girls Hope has been with me every step of the way. I started out freshman year as one of the quietest girls in my class, deathly afraid of public speaking. To think, I have now developed into an outspoken woman standing before you all is my proudest accomplishment. Without this program, I would not be the person that I am today, and so, I would like to thank Boys Hope Girls Hope, Suzanne specifically, and my mom for making all this possible. I look forward to the future and hope that the boys and girls who come after me in the program experience the same success.