To Live Like Alex

Let the past be part of our driving change for the future to come. Krista was one of the many youths who had applied for the Alex Foto Trip Scholarship. Read about her progress of why she applied and how the stories of Alex impacted her to truly live like Alex.

I first heard of the Alex Foto scholarship on Facebook. Even though I never met Alex we had a lot of mutual friends and the link to apply for the scholarship was popping up all over my news feed. I had been involved in quite a few social justice activities in high school and going on a humanitarian trip has always been on my radar. After I thought about it I decided to go for it. I didn’t even tell my parents I was applying because I didn’t want to get my hopes up. After I wrote about my community involvement, athletic teams and my desire to live like Alex, I waited. When I received the email saying I was in the top five I had to hold back a scream because my mom was driving. It was such an honor to even be considered for a scholarship in the name of such an amazing person. I was so excited that I spent the last few hours before my interview preparing and practicing with my mom about the things I should talk about. Then I went down to the basement, shut the door, and told my parents that they had to stay upstairs until I was done.

Talking on the phone with Alex’s mom was heart breaking and enlightening at the same time. It was really hard for me to try and talk about my accomplishments and the interests Alex and I shared, when I knew she must have still been experiencing so much pain. That night, Ms. Foto talked to five people who all aspire to accomplish the same things her daughter has and I can’t even begin to think how difficult that must have been. However, it was also a testament of how Alex’s actions have touched and inspired so many people to make a difference, including me.

The next morning Ms. Foto called and when she told me I was going to be joining her on the trip I was completely overwhelmed and excited, I was jumping and smiling and crying and I just couldn’t believe that something that had seemed such a far off chance at one point was actually becoming a reality. Throughout all this excitement however, I also started to feel incredibly guilty. As amazing as it is that a scholarship was set up in Alex’s name and that she is going to be remembered in this incredible way, I also wish there didn’t have to be a scholarship. I felt guilty because I never should have filled out an application or had an interview. Alex should be here and at school in Waterloo. She should be cheerleading and studying for midterms and organizing events with the World Vision Club she founded. She should be applying for summer jobs and hanging out with her friends and visiting her family on the weekends. I felt guilty accepting a scholarship when there shouldn’t even be one in the first place, and that is still a hard concept to get my head around. We had a lot of things in common, and it’s amazing to have these constant reminders of her life and the amazing things she accomplished while she was here. She is, and always will be remembered, and these daily reminders of her life and accomplishments inspires me to live more like her; to live like Alex.

I have learned about Alex and her story from Facebook, friends and newspaper articles. I am excited to go on this trip to learn more about who Alex was, what inspired her and how she continues to make a difference for so many people.

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