Working hard has never been a problem in my life; it's the question of "Will it ever be enough," that plagues my mind. I am from London, Ohio, which is a small town twenty minutes west of Columbus. The town in which I grew up is predominantly white; blacks make up about 5% of the total population. By the standards of our society I am within that 5%, being born of a black man and a white woman. It wasn't far along in my education that I learned I started behind. Not only was I African-American but a member of the poor working class. The school system was a decent one, but it doesn't compare to that of private schools. A private Catholic High School that is twenty minutes from where I live ranked among the top in the state involving Senior Graduation test score with 97% passing. My public school was nowhere near that with only 60% that passed all sections. My father would always tell me, "You can't squeeze a dollar from a penny," now I know the truth in that. Having only so much to work with, working hard barely competes with a $4,000 a year high school education.
The reason I am here today is because of the hard work and inspiration of my parents. My mother grew up in an all-white neighborhood and graduated at the top of her high school and college classes respectively. Now I cannot say that it was solely because of her race because that is simply untrue she I a smart, gifted individual. It was her that first instilled on me the importance of my education. Growing up I figured it was just because she was my Mom and that is what Moms do. Now I know she knew she had to prepare me for the many hardships and prejudices that awaited me in the "real world." My father was not as blessed as a child. He grew up the oldest of eight children, caring for them at the age of 17 when his mother and father died. Education was never a priority or an option when caring for his family. It was many years after he graduated... [continues]
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