Compass Campaign: Scholarship Endowment
SI Class of 1994 & KTVU Anchor/Reporter
My SI Story
I still get it today, and it makes me roll my eyes and then walk away when I hear people tell me I went to a rich-kids’ school.
But something always pulls me back.
I’ll say, “Can I have one minute to share my story?”
I tell them that my father died when I was three. Later, after my brother graduated from SI, we became drop-dead poor.
My mother and I lived in a two-bedroom apartment. We even lived with another family my senior year. The only way I could afford to go to SI was through a scholarship the Jesuits gave me. I remember feeling proud when I told my mother about the scholarship. Then she told me that this was a wonderful opportunity that not everyone gets and not to waste it. I didn’t. I’ve always said: “Don’t just reach for the stars. Go and grab them.” My mother always wanted the best for my brother and for me, and she knew SI was it.
That scholarship kept me at SI, but I still had to wear my brother’s hand-me-downs, including his track shoes. They had small holes in them by my senior year. But no one at SI saw my poverty or cared about it. Some of us came from wealthy families and others from middle class neighborhoods. Some families, like my own, struggled to make it. This mix just made us better people. It helped us open our eyes and realize what the world is like.
SI also helped me get out of my shell. I was a shy freshman, and when I entered this amazing place, the school opened me up and gave me the confidence to be a better person. Whenever anything knocked me down, I got right back up.
I still go to my father’s gravestone and look at the words written right below our last name. Chiseled in the stone, the words read “Pillar of Strength.” I felt his strength as I walked out of St. Ignatius Church in 1994 holding my diploma. I could see the tears in my mother’s eyes and the pride in her face.
What else can you ask for, except the chance to give someone else the same opportunity I had and grab a handful of stars?
Mike Mibach ’94