Beating the Odds
“In the UK, the statistics for attending university are very slim for someone who was in foster care and from the area of London that I’m from,” says Raskita Taylor, an Ensign College student studying communications.
Raskita is now beating the odds and is well on his way to becoming a first-generation college graduate at Ensign College. He always knew he wanted to go to college and had the drive to get there. However, universities in the United Kingdom did not appeal to him because of how limited the options are for those who do not have a major picked out or who decide to switch their major entirely. This was a dealbreaker for Raskita. “I never knew what I wanted to do and didn’t have the confidence to pick something I may or may not like offered at university,” he says.
After learning about the colleges in the Church Educational System, Raskita made the decision to move to the United States. “Ensign College seemed like a good fit for me because it gave me the sense that there were others in a similar situation: an international student trying to get their head around living in a new place and studying towards a degree,” says Raskita. “And it’s an exciting time to be at Ensign College. It’s growing in many ways, and this feels like only the beginning of what can happen there thanks to supporters of the college.”
Raskita appreciates what he is learning during his education at Ensign College. “I love that we are asked to apply everything we learn in a spiritual, academic, and professional mindset,” he says. “It shows me why the things I’m learning matter and how they connect. I’ve already been able to use some of the skills I’ve gained in my work on the scholarship team and know I’ll continue to put it all into practice after I graduate. Ensign College gives a well-rounded education unlike anywhere else I’ve seen.”
Raskita also recently received the Returned Missionary Scholarship, which is allowing him to continue his education and cover costs associated with being an international student. “To be able to have someone in the background helping me move forward means everything,” he says. “As a student coming to college for the first time, the scholarship makes things much easier. It’s really important that there are people who value education and help others reach their goals and dreams.”
Raskita continues: “Scholarships like this force you to think about not only how blessed you are but create a desire to express your gratitude by holding yourself accountable to that scholarship. Having this help encourages you to treasure it and treasure your studies because you recognize that there are other people involved in your journey. It takes one person choosing to give to something like a scholarship to change the life of a student and influence future generations.”