Mackenzie Kurnath

November 29th, 2012 was the day my life changed forever. Like any oth­er day, I was eating lunch at our local diner when I received a worrisome phone call from my mom. She never told me what was wrong, but I knew from the tone of her voice I should rush home. I thought I was in trouble. Maybe my room was a mess, or I left the hair straightener on. But never did the thought cross my mom that my dad was in a car accident that left him paralyzed. Even to this day, saying the words, “my dad is paralyzed,” brings my stomach to knots. The burden an accident like this put on our family is tremendous. From financial struggles to learning to function without my dad as present as he used to be, the accident has certainly challenged our family to the highest level. However, this accident has tru­ly taught me that within every bad situation life throws at you, something good will always come out of it if you stay strong and positive. For me, that good was the organiza­tion Kids’ Chance of New Jersey.

Thanks to Kids’ Chance of NJ, I am pursuing my dream of being a fashion major at the University of Delaware. My first 2 years at the University of Delaware reminded of why I worked so hard in high school, finally it was paying off. The University of Delaware was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. I had the chance to take classes I was interested in, like introduction to fashion and apparel studies, and the opportunity to be a part of something big like joining the UDress commit­tee. The UDress committee is an amazing club that creates and designs fashion magazines for the fall and spring semester. I am so excited to continue my journey at the University of Delaware and working towards my dream of becoming a leader in the fashion industry.

The Kids ‘Chance Organization gave me the hope that my dad’s accident doesn’t mean my dream of going to college is no longer possible. It gave me the hope that my goals and aspirations don’t have to change because of my dad’s accident. Without this organization, there is no way financially I could be attending my dream school, The University of Delaware. This award has inspired me to work hard, focus on my education and achieve the success to enable me to give back. What Kids’ Chance of New Jersey has done for me is truly a gift that goes beyond just money; it’s a gift that will stay with me forever.