Sponsored By The Florida Lottery

Going through a personal experience can define you and the way you help others. That’s what happened to Bianka Solorzano, who overcame hardship with work and perseverance, and now looks forward to helping others do the same.

There are certain things in life that you can never fully grasp if you don’t go through them yourself. You can study a subject and become really good at it, but there are things that only first-hand knowledge will help you fully understand.

When Bianka Solorzano from Miami tore her ACL during high school while playing volleyball, she had to go through a recovery process that was mentally hard and physically exhausting.

“I definitely learned a lot, especially in the recovery process, having to go through rehab. It was something that really affected me, mentally, and obviously physically as well.”

But that gave her the unique perspective on how to help others heal. So, after several months away from the game she loves, she came back stronger and with a plan.

When she got hurt, it seemed like an uphill battle, but in the long run, Bianka’s perseverance paid off in many ways.

“I think that I learned a lot of lessons, both on the court and in life as well: that you have to really work for something that you want, even if it’s really tough mentally. So, that was something that was really important to me and I’m very grateful that I went through that because I think I learned a lot in all aspects of life.”

She started college focused on how to help other athletes cope with similar injuries. And though it’ll take time, she’s already on her way.

“I’m studying Biology with a minor in Chemistry, so pre-med track. I plan to attend medical school and hopefully get an MD in Sports Medicine. Of course, we’ll see along the way, but that’s the plan. As an athlete myself, I understand the mental aspect of the game and what it means to be an athlete, having had those experiences, so I think helping other athletes grow is something that I’m really looking forward to doing.”


A spike in her chances

When she began her college life, it was hard juggling her academic responsibilities with her sports goals while having to attend to her financial needs. But she was ready, especially since she was awarded the Bright Futures Scholarship.

“That was really exciting for me, and to tell my family as well. Having that financial weight lifted off has really helped me focus on both school and volleyball more, rather than having to focus on the financial aspect. It really helped me grow and succeed as a student and as a student athlete as well.”

Every year, thousands of students participate in the Bright Futures Scholarship program, funded by the Florida Lottery, increasing their chances of achieving a better future. The hard work that each of them puts into their academics is rewarded with financial aid.

For Bianka, the scholarship means no financial stress, so she can concentrate on her classes and her athletic activities, both of which will be crucial for her line of work.

“It was really exciting for my family and I’m really grateful for what I receive from Bright Futures, and obviously I’m very proud of myself.” I wouldn’t say I’m done working, I still have a lot more work to finish, both on the court and in school, but overall, I would say I’m very proud of what I’ve done so far.”

Bianka is not so different from other kids around Florida who are just looking for a chance, a break that allows them to reach their full potential without the financial stress. For those kids, Bianka’s advice might come in handy.

“Everybody has the potential, it’s just ultimately putting yourself through the hard work in school and you will be rewarded. If you put in the work and you persevere, you’ll be rewarded. So, it’s all about growing that confidence and going for that passion.”

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.