The past few weeks have been a bit of a blur for Marshayla Frazier and her mother, Marcia Stanley.
Several weeks ago, the two of them returned from a weekend at the Champion’s Gate Community and Resort in Orlando, where Frazier had attended a Future Educators of America (FEA) conference.
“The conference was about how to make students’ dreams come true,” said Frazier.
That conference may have proved prophetic, for when they arrived home there was a letter for Stanley from Stanford University, in California addressed “To the parent(s) of.”
“I had no idea what it was about,” said Stanley. After she opened the envelope and read what had been written, she went into a state of disbelief. “When I read the letter, I had to make sure I was reading what I was reading.”
She had her daughter read aloud the contents of the envelope. It was an invitation from the esteemed university for Frazier to attend “Invision in Stanford Law,” an intern program for high school students to attend a week-long seminar conducted by Stanford University’s law school, which is one of the most prestigious in the nation. The seminar runs from June 22-July 1. Frazier was one of only 350 invited.
When it sank in, Frazier was puzzled.
“How did they find me?” she asked. The mother and daughter soon discovered that a Bartow High School alumnus, Jose Santana (who was not able to be contacted for this article) was the person behind the nomination.
There was a catch, however. To begin with, it required a $450 nonrefundable deposit, which Stanley was able to scrape up, and which took some doing as she is a single parent.
But that was (and is) only the “tip of the iceberg.” In order for Frazier to attend — and she received official notice a week ago that she had been accepted into the program — she and her mother have to raise $4,000, which has to be received no later than May 22.
The two of them have been scrambling ever since. Thus far, turning to family, friends and in Stanley’s case, co-workers, plus having held (thus far) two fundraisers, they have raised slightly more than $600. Thus they are turning to the community for further assistance.
They currently are in the process of setting up a fund through either SunTrust Bank or BB&T in which they can accept donations. In addition, with the assistance of Joyce Bentley of POPS (Professional Opportunity Program for Students, Inc.), they have composed letters asking for sponsorships that Frazier has hand-delivered. In a few instances, she has had the opportunity to speak with some recipients of the letters, who have told her they would consider the request.
One way or another, Stanley said her daughter is going to attend the seminar.
“It’s my daughter’s dream and I’m going to help her,” said Stanley. “I want my daughter to always dream big.”
According to Frazier, she is of the belief that much of “Invision” will revolve around classroom work. “We’re going to learn what lawyers do,” she said. In addition, there may be the opportunity to meet several attorneys, and more. “There will be a mock trial.”
About Marshayla Frazier
Ever since she was 8 years old, Frazier, has wanted to be an attorney. That desire has been further fueled by several events, ones that have fostered her desire to seek justice.
One of them was the Casey Anthony trial. She believed prosecution could and should have done better.
“I felt that an injustice had taken place,” said Frazier.
Modest and soft-spoken, Frazier is someone who has an inner strength, said her mother. In addition, she is “inner motivated.” Currently a sophomore at Bartow High School, Frazier has taken a number of AP (Advanced Placements) classes and has thus far earned a 4.3 GPA (grade point average).
Want to contribute?
Until a fund is set up through a bank, it is possible to make a donation by going to GoFundMe.com and type in the zip code in the upper left-hand corner. When the Bartow link pops up, scroll down to “My Trip to Stanford Law School.” Although she needs $4,000 for the tuition, an additional $500 is being requested, to cover ancillary expenses.
For further information, call Marcia Stanley at 863-212-0100.