In 2015, Cherise Sheffner graduated from Coast High School in California and received a scholarship from Simon Youth Foundation.

Sheffner chose to enroll in a community college to pursue an associate degree, as she was diagnosed with a rare disease that made it difficult for her to go far from home and commit to more than a two-year program.

Earning a 3.7 GPA, Sheffner will graduate this May with an Associate Degree in Psychology from Orange Coast College.

It hasn’t been easy, but Sheffner persists. “It has been a hard couple of years,” she said. “The health troubles that I faced in high school came back. However, that has not let me give up.”

SYF’s scholarship extension opportunities enables Sheffner to apply for additional scholarship money to fund future years at a four-year institution.

Sheffner thanks Michael Durnil, SYF President and CEO, for encouraging her when she was in high school. “Your support gave me more motivation to not give up on my higher education,” she said of Durnil.

SYF congratulates Sheffner on her accomplishments and perseverance.