Age 18.
Graduate of Lee High School. Attending Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Aurora’s success was hard fought, but she didn’t do it alone.

Aurora didn’t know her father and saw her mother infrequently. Her older brothers are both incarcerated for murder.

Yet, Aurora was surrounded by people who cared about her. She was raised by her grandmother since she was just a few days old. A caring cousin looked out for her, and in fourth grade, she started going to The Bridge of Northeast Florida after school and during the summer.

"If I wouldn’t have come to The Bridge, I don’t think I would have had the opportunity I’ve had this far in my senior year,” Aurora said. “I don’t think I would have accomplished as much as I’ve accomplished. I don’t think my grades would be as good as they are.”

As she got older, Aurora had support from mentors at The Bridge and Baptist Health.

Her mentor at The Bridge, Mary Bishop, saw Aurora blossom from a girl growing up on a tough street to an accomplished high school senior.

“It’s almost like a flower in the springtime,” she said. “You plant a seed and you sit and watch it sprout, and it goes through all those stages. Then it blooms, and when it blooms, it is the most beautiful flower. And that’s Aurora.”

She was class president her senior year of high school, and her excellent grades prepared her to become the first person in her immediate family to attend college. Aurora was named after the Northern Lights, and her grandmother calls her “the light of my life.” Little wonder she is a beacon for other teens.