Ten years ago, I didn’t even believe I’d make it to college, much less be up here receiving this award. It was really rough growing up, just trying to make ends meet. I am the youngest of four sisters, so I relied a lot on my sisters. Both of my parents were unstable and my sisters basically raised me, even though they were teenagers themselves and single parents.
My family lived pay check to pay check and I observed my mother’s struggle. We never had the opportunity to enjoy the luxuries in life but she made sure always had food on the table. I also saw that not everyone’s life was like that. There were others – in my school and in the world around me – that didn’t have to struggle day to day. I made up my mind at the age of 11 that I would do whatever it takes to make a better life for me and for my mom.