If there had to be one word to describe my time as a student in high school it would be privilege.
I was privileged enough to attend a competitive public high school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I had the unique privilege of having access to resources such as SAT preparation courses, tutors and an abundance of advanced placement courses offered to me. There was never a moment where I had to second guess taking a rigorous course in fear of not being able to get the help I needed from peers or tutors and there certainly wasn’t a time where I had to forgo an opportunity to go on a class field trip due to financial restraints. I never felt that I’d go into a standardized test unprepared because I always could take a course or two to prepare myself. Bottom line: I was given the tools to reach my goals and it all worked out in the end once I was accepted to my top choice university. Although merit and hard work were an integral part of this achievement, most progress was made through opportunity.
I reflected on this truth one afternoon during December of 2015 after I finished my first semester at the United States Military Academy. Further, I realized how immense of a privileged life I still lived. I don’t pay tuition, I have guaranteed job security upon graduation and since I am considered active duty Army so I even collect a paycheck every month.
With all of the above thoughts in mind, I was committed to doing something to make an impact. I knew that the privileges afforded to me through high school are not equally felt amongst the entire student body. So I decided to create the Sodgerel Foundation; a non-profit that would sponsor programs to mitigate the effects of financial inequality in the classroom utilizing my own cadet salary to cover the costs.
By creating this organization I hope to make a lasting impact through meaningful distribution of my cadet salary to serve our community.