I am attending school as most people do because I want to better myself. But I am not alone in my efforts I am only here because of the sacrifices made by my family. I am a second-generation college student it may not seem like much but I am continuing a positive tradition. My parents and my grandparents grew up dirt poor. It did not matter that my grandparents came from very little because they made something out of nothing and passed it on it their kids. They could not give my parents much money but they gave them something that money cannot buy; they taught them how to persevere. My grandparents set the example they listened when they were told that the American Dream is working hard and creating a future for yourself. My grandparents told my mother that success comes from education. My mom listened to them and worked hard. She worked two jobs to put herself through school to give my sisters and I a better life. I work hard because I want to. My GPA, awards, and activities are all evidence of my hard work. I work hard because I know that it is a privilege to live in this country and to attend university and I`ll never treat this opportunity as less than.
Coming from a single-parent household makes it all the more important to succeed. At the age of ten I realized that education was and is for everyone. I would spend hours and hours in the town library and during that time nothing else mattered. This is where my love of education began. The books did not discriminate and neither did the knowledge that filled me. I was so fortunate, reading was my escape. It did not matter what it was: books, newspapers, magazines. If it had words I read it. Reading allowed me to join fictional worlds where anything was possible. Burying my head in books allowed to ignore two grueling facts: my family was not whole and we were running out of food at home. Being able to channel all my energy and frustration into the will to learn saved me from what I could have been. Without education whole communities fall apart but access to education can transform a community thus transforming the world.
I was fortunate to learn what I want to do with my life early on. I want to dedicate my entire life to helping families, especially children. This past school year I had the opportunity to work with children aged 5 to 12 from low-income families in the Dallas area. The experience was priceless and I am returning to work with the non-profit again when school begins. I learned so much about resilience and the human spirit from these kids. My official job title was a tutor; however, these kids taught me lessons as valuable as the ones I taught them. It is through this volunteering experience that I found purpose in my life. The most valuable thing we all have to give is time and time spent volunteering is time well spent.
Education is a weapon for change. I want to be able to have a platform that works toward eradicating the world of poverty. The only place this large-scale change can stem from is education. That is why I am attending school so that one day I may begin my own non-profit centered around helping low-income kids and their families.