Perris Hilliard '20

My name is Perris and I'm a member of the Totino-Grace class of 2020. While my graduation was different celebrating in a parking lot with my classmates, I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to experience TG. My experience is possible because of donors like you.

Coming into TG as a freshman was quite difficult for me. Attending a school with a prestigious reputation was a dream come true, even though it was quite a stretch financially for my family. I was very shy, reserved, and barely spoke to anyone, sticking to only my work-study and schoolwork. Lucky enough, I was able to make a few friends (through constant conversations) that I still have today.

At the end of freshman year, my family faced major financial problems trying to support both my and my sister's tuition. Facing this predicament, I didn't think that I would be able to attend TG the following year. So I prepared myself to transfer to my local high school in north Minneapolis.

Luckily for me, my mother received my financial aid package and saw that it covered more of the tuition that she couldn't. With the additional assistance and work-study, I was able to remain at TG for the rest of my high school experience. Each year, I've grown a bit more in personality, broken out of my shell, and have become a lot more sociable with those around me. I've participated in clubs and groups like Book Club, Yearbook, Chinese Club, and SOURCE, our school's multicultural club. This year I even became the president of one, the Chinese Club! In college I plan to minor in Mandarin Chinese and visit China some day, after the pandemic is over.

When you support Totino-Grace, you're changing the lives of students like me. My dreams of attending TG wouldn't have been possible without you, and for that reason and many more - I want to say thank you. Your generosity allowed me to complete my four-year journey at TG, experience many wonderful things, and grow as a person. This experience wouldn't be possible if it weren't for people like you; those who give out of the kindness of their hearts. Thank you for giving, it helps students like me continue to be part of such a wonderful and loving community.

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Tony Mullen
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Shannon Hartinger
Major Gift Officer

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Kelley Beitz
Advancement Database Analyst