In 250 words or less,

I started college five years ago with the diligence of naivety. Back then I didn’t know who I was, much less who I wanted to be. In my first semester of college, my cousin committed suicide. The stress that followed proved the most challenging event my family had endured, since the suicide of my brother 14 years prior. I didn’t make it past my first year of college. My interest had shifted toward illicit drugs, and I fell into a bad habit of anorexia. This was mild considering the worst was yet to come: that following school year my father took his own life. The night of his burial ceremony ended with the thought of, “I’m nineteen and I just buried my father.” I left school that year, per academic dismissal. Did I care? No. An education was definitely in my future; it just wasn’t in my future right now. A quest to find myself in San Jose led to a move across state lines. I ultimately returned back to my Mother’s and tackled what should’ve been my second year at City College. In one year, I managed to complete all lower division transfer requirements, and boost my GPA from a 2.04 to a 3.13. Initially I was denied admission into SFSU, but my drive pushed further. Five weeks later, they reversed their decision. Some call me lucky. I call it hard work. I now leave my hometown at the start of the next phase in my life.

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