'Thank You' from Rachel Hill, ITWomen Scholarship Winner

The following is a Thank-You letter from Rachel Hill, a 2013 ITWomen Scholarship winner, to her ITWomen Mentor, Margaret Brisbane. Rachel is part of our “new’ ITWomen Virtual Mentoring program and was paired up with Margaret.

When Rachel was 12 her mom passed away. Rachel’s mom had worked at the technology group at Miami-Dade County (“ITD”),  which is where Margaret works.

Through Margaret, Rachel met many employees who knew her Mom. As you will see from Rachel’s letter shortly after winning her ITWomen scholarship in 2013, Margaret organized a fundraiser to help raise donations and a bin of essentials to start her college life. 

Dear Mrs. Brisbane and the ITD family, 

I am forever thankful for all you have done. Thank you so much for taking the time to fundraise, for all the dorm room gifts, and for putting together a surprise party. Words cannot express how much I appreciate your kindness. I am still speechless and in shock. I believed Friday was just another day at the ITD office and that Margaret was walking me through a meeting. 

The party truly raised my spirit. It made me feel special and loved. Most of you did not know me, but you knew my mom. It is touching that you loved my mom so much that you would help me prepare for college. And your gifts definitely did help me. I was planning on bringing just my clothes, towels, and few electronics to Melbourne and buying everything else when I arrived. When I first met Margaret, she asked me if I was ready to move to Melbourne. At the time I didn’t even have a shopping list, so Margaret knows I am not the best at college shopping. Every gift that you bought me, I did not have. Now I feel ready for school. Thank you so much. 

I find it remarkable how one action could change your entire life. This IT Women scholarship is one of my greatest accomplishments thus far. Through the scholarship I met Margaret, one of the best mentors I know. I also found something that I have been searching long and hard for. I found an important piece of my mom. I met people who loved her and missed her as much I did. I always wanted to be like my mom. I never thought that six years later I would learn so much about her or even follow in her footsteps. So thank you for giving me that opportunity. I can imagine her smiling down from heaven at this moment. Even though she’s not physically here, I feel her presence every day. With my mom by my side, I always felt invincible. However, now with the entire ITD family looking out for me, I feel unstoppable. You guys are amazing, and such an enjoyable bunch. 

Again, I want to thank you for all the trouble you went through to help me prepare for college. It means a lot that so much people still care about my mom, and that they did this all for her. The way you described my mom made her sound astonishing. I also wanted to thank you for the encouragement and confidence you gave me. You left me feeling loved. I am more excited about Florida Institute of Technology than I was before. My family also thanks you for all you have done. I am forever thankful for you compassion and generosity. I love you all”. 

Rachel Hill