I know I tend to say this all the time, but I firmly believe all these things are a big part of who I am and want to be. I want to encourage students to always be proud of where they come from and to use this pride to help themselves and others. Once you embrace who you are, no one can ever define you. I have embraced and I am proud to say I have a strong single mother, I grew up with welfare, I have lived in a women’s shelter, I went to public schools my whole life, and much more. All these things are a part of me and with my mother’s hard work and mine, I can proudly say that I am attending the college of my dreams. Of course, I have countless of more challenges to encounter, but that does not scare me anymore.
My mother showed me two of the greatest principles that guide my life: to always have perseverance and courage. It is important to have perseverance because it helps people to keep trying even when they continue to fail. Our parents or guardians never gave up on us or stopped working because they knew we needed to survive. We cannot give up on our aspirations; failure only makes us stronger. It is important to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re standing alone. Have the courage to not take a no and turn it into a yes. I cannot tell you how many times my mother was told that she would not make it as a single mother. As time went on, students in my community and I were expected to get pregnant, drop out of high school, go to jail, and so on. I used all these expectations to motivate me to prove people wrong. I was a statistic waiting to happen, but you don’t have to be one. I want to make sure when people look at me, they can say, If she can do it, I can do it.
For more info about Swag, please visit our website: SWAG To College
If you or anyone you know are interested in being a mentor, click here: Become a Mentor
If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a mentee, click here: Become a Mentee