BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Bassick High School graduate Sachin Manning set his career heights higher than most, literally.
"My dream is to become a pilot. My father wanted to fly but couldn't finish training because of financial difficulties," said the 19-year-old headed to Fairfield University this fall.
Manning came to Connecticut from Jamaica where his family still lives. He recalls being surprised to see the crime rate in Bridgeport was similar to what it's like in his home country, he said.
Before coming to the United States, "I expected it to be like you see on TV where people are happy, look great. The crime is getting worse."
But Manning, seen piloting a plane, and speaking about the Foundation on a YouTube video, also encountered "many people" along the way to help him adjust and thrive in his new surroundings.
He credits his ambition to several people, including his mentor, who turned out to be the CEO and Founder of an organization that helps students from low-income communities achieve educational and career goals.
The man is Daniel Trust and his organization is the Daniel Trust Foundation.
"He was my coach when I played volleyball my sophomore year," said Manning, who was the team captain the following year.
"I became close with Dan. He helped me in so many ways."
The Foundation offers two-year mentorship opportunities to junior and seniors from Bassick High School.
In addition, annually it awards scholarships to students and cash awards to teachers who make a difference in the lives of students and in their communities.
Manning is among 15 high school seniors who each won $6,500 in scholarship money from the foundation. The awards were given June 23 at a dinner in Bridgeport. Manning said he'll use his to pay for books at Fairfield.
In addition, 14 educators received $3,500 in cash prizes each.
The evening's keynote speaker was Jim Ziolkowski, Founder and CEO of buildOn, which provides the mentored students an opportunity to go abroad and build schools. BuildOn also runs after-school programs in America's inner cities.
"I have benefited a lot from the programs," Manning told the Daily Voice.
He recounted speech he gave at last year's dinner.
"I talked about how many different ways the Daniel Trust Foundationa and Dan helped me. He helped me with my college applications. He even remembered my deadlines. I saw a lot of students receive the scholarships. Now it's me. It means a lot. I am grateful," he said.
For more information on the Daniel Trust Foundation, click here
To watch the "Trust" video about the Foundation on YouTube, click here.
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