Education has been my ultimate equalizer, my door opener, my salvation. Despite early troubles, I completed high school and found myself at a common crossroad — excited about going to college but completely unsure about how I was going to pay for it. The U.S. Army took on a lion's share of my tuition as I entered college. My mother, by completing the financial aid forms, helped pay the rest of the costs. In all honesty, without that financial aid, I would not have chosen Johns Hopkins University for my undergraduate education.