Being Maltese has always been a huge part of who I am. Often, the joke in my group of friends is that, “You know Rachael is Maltese before you actually know her name.” It’s true, really.
Being Maltese for me was always more than just a heritage; it was a set of characteristics that defined us as a people – to be hardworking, determined and to never give up. Whether it’d be career, school, or improving myself as a person this was something I strove to live by.
When I first began my full-time career, I knew graduate school was something I wanted to pursue. This endeavor needed to be budgeted for, and it wasn’t going to come cheap. Graduate school scholarships are very few and far between – and even more so when you have a full time job. Many schools seemingly assume you have no other bills to pay, or that because you have a full-time job that you also have all the means necessary to pay your way through school.
The news of the Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Grech Cumbo Family Foundation scholarship was really a blessing. It also provided an avenue to become even more involved within the Detroit Club. I initially found out about the scholarship in 2015 per Mark Trzeciak, but at the time did not qualify as the deadline had passed. When it came time for 2016 to come around, I made sure it was on the top of my mind and did everything possible to secure it. However, doing so would not have been possible without the help of Mark Trzeciak and Brian Vella. Brian and Mark both helped me find ways to gain volunteer hours at the Detroit Club. Some of these volunteer opportunities included selling pastizzi, setting up for festas, or help cleaning up. Both of these individuals were key to my success in securing this scholarship.
This was the first scholarship that really held a lot of value in multiple ways to me. Sure, the financial aspect of it was a huge bonus, but it was mostly the symbolic value that was most important to me - that I had been fulfilling the values of our people. The scholarship helped showcase that I was both making strides in the betterment of both myself and the community as well, something I couldn't be more pleased about.
I believe that this scholarship represents a student who has been and will continue to be dedicated to the Maltese Community, and encourage any student who believes that they fit this criteria to apply.
** For more information about applying for the Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Grech Cumbo Family Foundation Scholarship, please contact the MABSI executive board or email firstname.lastname@example.org. **
Rachael Cini is a Sales Planner at Comcast Spotlight and a Master’s Candidate at Walsh College studying Marketing.