It's been a hard road for Amber Purnell but she is relentlessly still pursuing her ambitions. With no family alive to support her, church family and community leaders have pulled together to help her navigate through the turmoil attached to her life.
While she was in High School, her father was murdered on the streets of Chicago. If that's not enough for a kid to handle, her mother died of Cancer while she was in High School as well. Since her pre-teens, she has been a Ward of the Court.
For those who may not understand the dynamics of being a Ward of the Court, it's when the state oversees the well-being of a child who is left with no immediate family. The court can appoint someone to be legal guardian of the child but that person is not liable for the expenses of the child.
High School is over and Amber is walking into her second year in college at North Carolina Central University. She is studying Criminal Justice. Her father's murder inspired her to learn more about the justice system and how she can make a difference in the community.
"Amber has worked very hard to get here, with very little help. She is determined to achieve her goals and many of us have been with her every step of the way. We have watched her overcome adversity and hold her head up despite the odds stacked against her," said Ryan Morris, North Carolina Central University Alumni Association. "What Parlay does for students in these tragic circumstances is indeed commendable and we are grateful that Parlay is able to help Amber."
Every Friday, the Parlay Foundation does an online campaign within the Parlay community of supporters. 'I Got 5 On It Friday' invites supporters to give $5 or more to help an HBCU student facing financial difficulties. The money is given to the student as a scholarship and they do not have to pay it back. The campaign began in August 2020 and has successfully helped over 100 HBCU students with tuition debt.
The Parlay Foundation awarded Amber Purnell with a $500 scholarship to help with tuition debt to North Carolina Central University.
Amber sent a message to Parlay after receiving her scholarship. "Thank you so much to the Parlay Foundation! Anything and Everything counts when it's toward college tuition. I can't thank you enough for helping me move forward with my education. I will never forget the kindness this organization has shown me."