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Before Carol Broxton was able to inspire others, she needed a breakthrough that could put her on the right track. This is how the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship gave her a little big push that got her from student to mentor.

There is no recipe for success. On the way to achieving your goals, there will be different paths to take, different advice to follow and many distractions that will try to derail you. But there are some stepping stones to getting where you want to go that will help you on your own chosen path.

Take it from Carol Broxton.

“Dream big, work hard, have discipline, don’t be distracted by others. You have to be determined. Write down what you want. That is something I did. Write it down. Believe in yourself.”

Carol graduated from Florida A&M University in 2010 with a Pharmacy degree. She was one of the thousands of students that benefited from the Bright Futures Scholarship, a program created by the Florida Legislature, and primarily funded by the Florida Lottery, to assist students in pursuing post-secondary educational and career goals.

Growing up, things were never easy at the Broxton household. Carol’s mom didn’t have the opportunity to attend college, but she instilled in her the notion that education is important to open up doors and opportunities, and so at the age of 14, she applied for a small local scholarship. After that, the question “what do you want to do when you grow up?” came into play. All she needed were the tools to make it happen. And after she graduated high school, Bright Futures was waiting for her.

“When I got the Bright Futures Scholarship, I remember the rush of thinking ‘Ok, this is really happening.’ I can pinch myself. I was the first person in my family to go to college, so that was even more exciting. My mom didn’t get a chance to fulfill that dream, so getting that degree wasn’t just for me, I was doing it for my family.”

Touching the lives of others

When Carol got her degree, she saw an opportunity, not only to have a better life for herself, but to help others get there as well. After all, her success was not only for her, but for the people that helped her get there.

“When you have a dream and a goal, but you don’t know how it’s going to happen for you, to have a door open with a scholarship puts you in a position to be an example to so many others.”

She especially wanted to lead young people that come from small towns, since she grew up in the small community of Crawfordville, Florida.

“When you grow up not having a whole lot, knowing that hard work does pay off and seeing that if I can do it, then you can do it too, regardless of the circumstance, is such a great feeling.”

Carol now works as a pharmacy manager for Mail-Meds Clinical Pharmacy in Tallahassee, offering a variety of services to local communities. And that is where she makes the most of the opportunities that she’s had because of her hard work.

“The Bright Futures Scholarship opened doors for me that I didn’t even know about. Having that scholarship gets you one step closer to your destiny.”

That destiny seems very clear for Carol now. It was never about just getting a degree, having a nice career, living a nice life. But to touch the lives of others to make sure they reach their goals.

“I’ve had so many people come over to me and say ‘You are an inspiration, you have made a difference in my life, you make me feel like I can move forward, I’m able to fulfill my dreams’.”

She has always felt like the underdog, but that doesn’t mean you should count her out, it just means that she can relate to so many others that have been in the same spot, so she can root for them just as she did for herself.

“I’ve been in your shoes, I’ve been the young girl with a dream, from a home where my mom didn’t have a college education, all I had was my dreams and hope, so to be able to reach out and touch the lives of other people to do the same, that would make me feel like I’m living my purpose.”

There are more than 880,000 students that the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program has helped to reach college and get a chance at a better life. Carol Broxton is just one of them, but she’s sure that anybody can do it with a little discipline.

Looking back, she has some advice to her younger self that definitely applies to anyone willing to work hard: “You have a great life waiting for you. Hang in there, have the discipline and be focused.”

For more information, visit http://www.flalottery.com/brightFutures 

The Florida Lottery is responsible for contributing more than $38 billion to education and sending more than 880,000 students to college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Lottery reinvests 99 percent of its revenue back into Florida’s economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Lottery retailers, and transfers to education. Since 1988, Florida Lottery games have paid more than $72.5 billion in prizes and made nearly 3,000 people millionaires. 

Above content provided by the Florida Lottery.

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