We first met Avery and Ava when they attended the UCM Early Learning Center, where they received quality, affordable preschool education that prepared them for kindergarten. When they were in second grade, their mother lost her job, and their father was stricken with a debilitating illness that left him unable to work or provide for his family.
As children, Avery and Ava dreamed of one day becoming doctors to help their father. The twins also hoped for the day that their mother would get a wonderful new job and they would find a refrigerator full of groceries and gifts under their tree on Christmas. Avery and Ava’s family found critical support from UCM when they needed it most. UCM ensured that the family received emergency groceries, the father’s pain medication and school supplies and Christmas gifts for the twins.
Avery and Ava participated in the after-school program at the UCM Sacramento Neighborhood Center. While there, Staff noticed how sad but academically gifted the twins were. They encouraged them to focus on their dreams of one day becoming doctors who would change the lives of countless patients in critical need, like their father.
Avery and Ava received ongoing academic support and were introduced to activities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The staff saw how much happier the twins had become after participating in these programs. Grateful for UCM’s support, they began volunteering at the UCM Early Learning Center.
During their senior year of high school, Avery and Ava were eager to take one step closer to their dream by applying to college. Getting accepted was one challenge; finding the money to pay for it was another. No one in their family had ever graduated from college and their parents could not afford tuition. Despite these obstacles, the twins were determined to excel and applied for the Battelle-UCM STEM Scholarship. They were overjoyed when they learned of their acceptance.
Thanks to Battelle and UCM, the twins are first-year biology students at Virginia Tech – on their way to becoming doctors. Avery and Ava credit UCM for their academic success, leadership, and commitment to service.