The night before Del’Sha Roberts received a call from 20/20 Leadership about the Kansas City Royals Scholarship, she had been researching scholarship applications. She applied for the scholarship as a senior at F.L. Schlagle and when her name was not called during the 2015 Shining Stars program, she thought the opportunity passed. While she had received other scholarship awards as she entered Kansas State University as a freshman in the fall of 2015, Del’Sha found herself in need of more money to continue her education. “If it wasn’t for this scholarship, I would not be able to continue at Kansas State,” she said.
Education is something that was stressed in Del’Sha’s household as she grew up. She has three older sisters, as well as one younger brother. While one of her sisters started college, she did not have the opportunity to finish. As a first generation college student, she understands that education is not optional. The future doctor understands the time she will have to continue to invest in her education to pursue her dream.
Del’Sha originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but is studying biology and pre-med with the goal of becoming a surgeon. She has known that she wanted to be a doctor since the age of eight and the feeling intensified after a close friend passed away during her high school career.
Her sights were initially set on attending Spelman College, a historically Black college in Atlanta, but after visiting Kansas State on a 20/20 Leadership program day, plus being offered a scholarship, Del’Sha’s plans shifted. As she nears the end of her third semester at the university, Del’Sha has become active and involved in student life. She joined the Black Student Union and was able to practice the skill of networking, something she learned as a participant in 20/20 Leadership.
In reflection, Del’Sha says she thought college would be hard, but by taking college courses as a high school student, she believes that she was better prepared. She took a placement test as a sophomore and because of her high scores in math and reading, Del’Sha was able to earn 25 credits that would transfer upon graduation. She also learned how to read a syllabus. More importantly, she already understood the importance of sitting in the front of the room, another lesson impressed upon her by 20/20 Leadership.
“Hard work and dedication has paid off and now I’m able to be at the school that I would like to be at,” she said.
The KC Royals scholarship is made possible by a generous donation from the Kansas City Royals and Royals Charities. Participants in 20/20 Leadership are eligible to apply for the scholarship.