My name is Valerie Parillo and I am Co-Chair of the SBWN Scholarship Committee. This program is important to me because of my own past experiences. I wanted to be an RN. I was married with children and it was my educational dream. I went back to school and 8 years later I was an RN. People often said to me that they would like to do something but it would take too long. I thought, well, the time will go by anyway and I might as well keep moving towards my goal. I took a little time off as I became a single Mom and then I wanted a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, so 3 years later I accomplished that. Another break and my final goal was ready to be met. Four years later, I had a Master’s Degree and was a Nurse Practitioner. I went to school for 15 out of 23 years but at the end of that time, I had met my educational goals. I received a number of scholarships and fellowships during my school years. They meant so much to me. Financially, it was helpful, but just as helpful was having someone believe in me. A scholarship is a tangible expression of belief in someone. So if you have a dream, just keep showing up and working on it and reach out for help when you need it.