I had a fairly rough start. My parents split when I was 7, dad completely left, and my big brother was sentenced to 25 to life 2 years later. This sent me down a self destructive course. I was using heavy drugs like Meth from when I was 15 until about 17 when I was arrested and placed onto JIPS (juvenile intensive probation and supervision). I cleaned my act up and have been sober since February 5th 2005. From there I worked some odd and eclectic jobs that gave me a great deal of knowledge, and made me love to always be curious about everything and talk to people and sort of love life in general. I worked at a restaurant where I learned how to cook, I worked in a record and book store which fueled my love for both music and literature, I worked at a kayak shop in Hawaii which made me love nature and the earth, and I'm now working in a camping and hiking store with some incredible people. It hasn't always been easy, but I'd say that I got incredibly lucky to have had the jobs, experiences, and friends that I've had despite the hardships I went through as a kid.
I was always good with computers, they just make sense to me. I would spend hours on the computer as a kid and I can usually navigate my way around them with ease. I never got to put it to use though, and even though the skills I had clearly matched what companies would ask for in a job, the 3 I've applied for in the past turned me down, mostly due to my lack of formal education.
I never had enough money to attend college, even after getting my GED, I kept getting turned down for financial aid through FAFSA for various reasons. and now I live on my own in a small apartment so saving money was certainly a far fetched notion at this point with the money I make.
Once I turned 26 though, they approved me and I was incredibly excited to attend college, and even more so that I would not have to take out loans and be up to my ears in debt like some of my close friends. I would be the first in my family to do so.
I was terrified that I wouldn't do well, and that the aid would be revoked, but much to my surprise, I learned that I appear to have somewhat of a natural gift for college, I started passing classes. Now today I am two short semesters away from obtaining my Associates degree in Systems Administration.
It's been hard, and still is, but I love the opportunity
to learn and grow. I have to ride to the west campus 4 days a week on my bicycle about 10 miles there and back to make my more than full time school schedule on top of my normal work schedule. The Arizona summer heat and rains don't help the ride any either, but I can think of few prouder moments I would have in my life than getting that diploma and putting it on my wall, and hopefully getting a job that will make someones else life a little better with my skills and so that way I can build a great home for my family and travel so I can meet people and help/ learn from them as well.
People tend to get down on themselves once they hit a wall or a bump in the road, but these things are the very essence of success, and once you work on yourself and make yourself a better person, then you can hopefully help others along their path as well and you both grow doing so. This is a short version of my success story, and I hope it helps you to build one of your own.