I grew up in a multi-racial household where neither of my parents graduated high school. School was never discussed nor was I encouraged to attend. It was the norm to begin working as soon as you turned sixteen. Success was based on being able to maintain a job in order to contribute financially to the family. I had to seek guidance from teachers, coaches and friends since there was no academic support at home. I realized early on that school was going to be my way out. An education was going to allow me to become financially independent and allow me to experience the world that I did not know much about.
There have been some people throughout my education that have guided me in becoming who I am today. It is the relationships that I have made with these people that have helped me realize they are the most important aspects of my education. Without them, I would not be successful. “More and more, the kinds of opportunities that are open to you will be determined by how far you go in school. In other words, the farther you go in school, the farther you’ll go in life.” (President Obama, 2010) It has been a long road but I truly believe I have reached success because I am still the only male in my family to graduate from high school and college and to have a career. I think I have gained much wealth, fame, and rank since I have redefined the expectations for my family. Several of my nieces have graduated from high school and one is currently at Penn State receiving her undergraduate degree in Psychology.
When I was growing up everything was about work from the time you woke up to the time you went to bed. There was a lot of fighting with my parents and my siblings. This is what I came to know as normal. When I entered first grade with Mrs. H she was a loving, caring, nurturing teacher. This was the first time I met someone like her. She treated all of her students as if they were her own children.... [continues]
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