Dear Mom and Dad,
When I was little, I remember walking into my first day of kindergarten and being so excited! I was wearing that red ladybug backpack – the one you couldn’t pay me to take off (though you tried) – and as I turned around and walked away, I overheard you say: “She’ll be in college soon…” At the time, I didn’t understand. The only thing I knew about college was that no matter what happened on the field, “The Bobcats always win!” or at least that’s what you were always cheering, dad. But, I get it now. Even at five years old, you knew that I had dreams to accomplish. And even more than that, you both believed I’d get there.
I know this sounds extreme, but when I look back, I think that might have been when my future started. Do you remember when I turned ten and auditioned to be in the school play? I was so convinced that I would make the perfect leading princess, but of course I got cast as the ladybug instead. I was devastated, but do you remember what you two said – “It’s not the role that makes the actress, but the actress that makes the role.” I’ve carried that advice with me ever since…
Then came prom. And shortly after that, graduation. Before I knew it, you were right – I was heading off to college to pursue a degree in drama and screenwriting. All those years and all those moments, you were right there beside me – picking me up when I was down, beaming from the audience after a successful performance, encouraging me to push beyond the limits. Every step of the way, you were there in the present. But what I never grasped was all the planning you had been doing for my future. The college savings account you opened when I was born. The monthly savings you set aside as I got older. And even the unexpected birthday gifts made on my behalf. While I was charging my own way forward, you were there paving the path ahead – ensuring that I would always have a leg to stand on. As I drive away and embark on a new journey, I know that I’m not going at it alone. Because every day that you saved is now a day that I get to succeed, and for that I am so grateful. Thank you for investing with Achieve Montana; thank you for investing in me.