With a victory over cancer in his wake, 18-year-old Chase Collier was ready to start writing the next chapter in his story and pursue a college degree. We were excited to check-in with him in March 2018 to see what he has been up to as he nears the end of his first year at Louisiana State University.
My Town Miracles is blessed to be a part of Chase's dream as the sponsor of the 2017 Ronald McDonald House of Memphis Perseverance Scholarship. Along with Abigail Alonzo, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, Chase was one-of-two high school seniors who received a $2,500 scholarship following their cancer treatments at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Chase tells us the scholarship has really cushioned the expense of a college education and has eased the burden on a family which has already had to overcome so much.
“Being a recipient of The Perseverance Scholarship meant so much to me,” Chase said. “With state funding of college tuition always being in question in Louisiana, the money that I received helped so much to make tuition and paying for college textbooks more affordable.”
Chase did not have to go far from home or family as he ventured off to LSU. Going to LSU is life's long passion for him.
"Because I was raised in Baton Rouge and it being a 'college town', I have always known that I wanted to attend school there," Chase said.
He couldn’t wait to get to school and actually got an early taste of the college experience through an orientation program for freshman called, “Stripes”. He said it is one of the most memorable experiences of his first year on campus.
“It was a summer program where you spend a few nights in campus housing and it was a great experience to start things off,” Chase shared. “I was able to meet other new students and get acclimated to campus life.”
The introduction to college life is filled with memorable moments. I can only imagine the exhilaration of Chase’s first Tigers game as a student in “Death Valley” with more than 102,000 football fans. It is also filled with new obstacles, which is part of the adjustment of being on your own for the first time.
“My biggest challenges have been getting adjusted to things like choosing and scheduling classes, determining a major area of study, and balancing work and school,” Chase said.
He says the picture of what that major area of study and future career will look like is starting to come into focus.
I am currently narrowing my interests and deciding on a major, with my choices being in the Engineering field or Construction Management field," Chase said. "I feel like either of these fields will best suit my personality."
The most inspiring part of Chase’s story is seeing how he has moved past such an arduous part of his life, maintained his optimism, and is now pursuing his dreams.
“It was extra special for me to receive this award from the RMH, as it is still a reminder to me of a very challenging time in my life that had such a positive outcome,” Chase said.
We at My Town Miracles wish Chase continued success as he moves forward in achieving his goals and we are beyond blessed to have played a small role in his story of perseverance.