“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of will.”-Vince Lombardi
In 2005 I was thrust into a world of confusion and grief. My father had just died of cancer, and I had been sent to live with my mother, a person who I had never met before. After that, much of my childhood is hazy and dark to my memory. Not a few short years later, my maternal grandparents died. I only remember feeling bewildered and not understanding why these horrid things were happening.
As I moved on to middle school, I started understanding the world a little more. I began moving on and wanted to make something of myself. In grades six and seven I was given the “Most Overall Improved Student” award. In the next year I won the “Most Conscientious Student” award. I also joined the track team and started reaching out to make connections with my peers. Within these few years, one of our classmates died due to osteosarcoma (bone cancer). It completely shattered my world view.
It was around this time when my relationship with my mother began to steadily decline. Shouting matches and harsh words passed between us on a daily basis. My grades began to steadily decline and my motivation sucked down the drain. I could not handle the daily stress. Halfway through tenth grade, I simply stopped. I wouldn’t leave my room for days on end. I felt like a shell of myself.
Just last summer, I left my mother’s home at the age of 17. Due to the help of a dear friend I managed to get things together swiftly. Not long after I enrolled in the GED class at Youth Quest. The two teachers I have met have aided me in so many ways. In little things like advice, encouragement and hope. My classmates are all cordial and friendly, a sunny atmosphere is the usual in this class.
Now, I have passed three out of five exams, one with a score of 800. I will be moving out of the room I rent into an apartment at the end of May. With any luck in 2019 I will be attending a university. The Open Doors program has literally opened the door to success for me. All that is left is to step through.