Jeremy Ball – Humans of UofL

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    Growing up in southeastern Kentucky, college was always on the radar, but there was always a something that worried me: how to pay for it. As a first generation college student, there was no way my parents and I could pay thousands of dollars to send me to a University.   In my high school, it’s a sad reality that most people don’t go to college, and even fewer leave the Appalachian region to pursue a degree. I knew I wanted to get away from the region for a bit to see more of the world, so I tried looking beyond Appalachia for school. But the cost of tuition and the lack of opportunities for students makes paying for and achieving scholarships incredibly difficulty for students.   img_4273_jeremy-ball_booksThankfully my high school, Clay County High School, had a number of teachers that pushed me to succeed academically, and I opted to get involved in a variety of clubs, sports, and service opportunities. I never had a “dream” college growing up, but opted to just see where I could go and afford. When I was lucky enough to be accepted into the Governor’s Scholar Program, my RA told me about the McConnell Scholars Program. I hadn’t heard anything about it, but it put UofL on my radar. Fast forward to the fall semester of my senior year, and I knew scholarships were my key if I was to go to college. With low expectations but high hopes I applied for the McConnell Scholarship at UofL. I had visited the school once for Accolade Day, but had little to no contact with the McConnell Center prior. After a rigorous interview process, I got a call from my mom while at a conference telling me I had received my letter from the program regarding decisions. She opened up the letter and read to me the results; from that moment on I knew I was a Louisville Cardinal.

    I grew up in Clay County, Kentucky, a small place in southeast Kentucky. It’s a very rural area in the Appalachia region, with a very “small town” atmosphere. Growing up, I lived outside the main “town” in the northern part of the county.img_4273_jeremy-ball_seated We only recently got high speed internet there and there still isn’t cell-phone coverage at my house.   As for what I learned, I’d say the biggest thing is to have a sense of adventure. Growing up on a farm and with a lot of land to roam, your imagination kind of runs wild. You see the world more as a place to explore, and that is something that has really stayed with me since I moved to Louisville.