Compassion and College: Feroza’s Story

This spring, Feroza graduated from John O’Connell High School in the Mission District, having made a lasting impression on her peers and teachers. As Mr. Bonaccorso, one of her teachers, describes her, Feroza is, “a highly motivated, organized, and caring young lady who leads by example.” Although many people in the O’Connell community know Feroza for her drive and compassion, few understand her life journey and how it shaped her in becoming an incredible young woman.

Financial circumstances and family losses meant Feroza spent a lot of her youth moving and changing schools. Despite this lack of stability, Feroza always remained focused on school and family, in part because of her sister. Feroza’s sister was born with cognitive and physical developmental delays. Being her sister and roommate, Feroza took on caregiving responsibilities from a young age. In fact, she actually saved her sister’s life one evening when she awoke to find her sister in the middle of a medical emergency. Feroza never viewed her responsibilities to her sister as a burden, but instead, as a source of inspiration. In her own words, “my experiences with my sister awakened within me a sense of responsibility, a special appreciation for my sister’s courage to overcome challenging circumstances, and most of all a desire to work in the nursing field.”

In the fall, Feroza will be attending USF to study nursing and to actualize her dream of making a profession out of helping others. We at Meritus are excited to be by her side as she takes this next step. Feroza will definitely face new obstacles as she transitions from high school to college, but with her sister serving as motivation and Meritus serving as a support system she will undoubtedly overcome whatever challenges are thrown her way.