Abigail Ward shares her story

Mentor USA previous program participant and SFIG scholarship recipient, Abigal Ward, shares how she got involved in the Living the Example program and how it made an impact on her future.

13 July 2021 | News

In partnership with the Structured Finance Foundation and Scholarship America, Mentor Foundation USA can grant underserved young adults scholarships that make a tremendous difference for their journey towards achieving their goals.

Abigail Ward is a former participant in our Living the Example program and one of the scholarship recipients in 2020. She now shares how she got involved in the program and how it made an impact on her future.


When I was ten months old, I was adopted from Guangzhou, China, but I’ve lived in Pasadena, MD for the rest of my life. I was homeschooled for elementary school before attending a STEM magnet program at Old Mill Middle School South. Afterwards, I chose to attend my home public school, Northeast High School. It was hard moving to a new school at first, especially during freshman year. I decided to try to branch out and make new friends by joining different clubs and getting involved at the school.

Throughout my time at Northeast, I got involved in a myriad of organizations groups, from Marine Corps JROTC to Student Government, and Mentor USA’s program Living the Example and volunteering with organizations like Spanish Honor Society and The Mission Continues.

These organizations changed my life.

Abigail Ward

Living the Example taught me a lot about peer leadership, interpersonal relationships, and what it really means to serve the community. One of my favorite memories from high school was putting on the Haunted House of Addictions with Living the Example. I had the opportunity to see the project from the planning phase, through production, to opening night in the community. It was incredible to see the culmination of our hard work and the real impact we were able to have in our own community.

Experiences like this helped me realize that I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself in college and continue to look for opportunities to serve. So I decided to attend the United States Naval Academy to pursue my education. Now, I am involved in our Midshipmen Action Group program, which volunteers in the local community, and our Midshipmen Diversity Team so I can serve in similar ways.

I am incredibly grateful for the support from my parents, family, friends, and Living the Example, Mentor Foundation USA, and the Structured Finance Foundation which have helped open these doors of opportunity for me. I will graduate in four years with a Bachelor of Science degree, debt-free, and commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.

By Abigail Ward

The Living the Example program is one of our efforts to motivate and inspire youth to live a healthy life free of drugs that is made possible thanks to all of you – our contributors, supporters, and partners. Read more about the Living the Example Program.

Help us continue to support and motivate students like Abigail to work towards their dreams with a donation today.

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