As children, we are innocent, honest, trusting and also naïve. Most of us don't realize how hard life can be. I, personally, did not realize that my mother and father were both alcoholics and financially unstable. I also did not understand that addictive personalities were common in my extended family, which is why the title of this essay is Re-engineering Addiction.
Over the course of my 24 years on this earth, I have faced many emotional, physical, and financial obstacles that have tried to hinder my success and lead me down the path of addiction. My family and I lived in a trailer park where I was surrounded by bad influences including alcohol and drugs, which at times were appealing. As I matured, I realized that I was capable of creating a different life for myself. I started taking advanced placement classes where I exceled in math and science, leading me to choose engineering as a career. Once I was accepted to the University of Central Florida, I found more temptation with alcohol and drugs and it seemed acceptable because ‘everyone’ was partaking. However, after I lost my dad to lung cancer I discovered that my real passion and addiction was for learning and excelling which led to me to graduate with my Master's degree in environmental engineering this past May. I am now an engineer at a respected consulting firm in which I design water and wastewater treatment plants to ensure the public has clean, safe drinking water. Even today I sometimes ask myself, "How did I get so lucky..." and then I remember it wasn't luck. It was hard work, perseverance and the overwhelming need to have a stable and successful life. Although I came out with significant student loans, due to the fact that my family could not help me, I gained something priceless - an ability to re-engineer myself in a way that guarantees my success and allows me to make meaningful contributions to society. My overall financial goal in life is to live debt free and I am currently making payments on my loans but also saving for a wedding, a house and a boat. These things seem like a longshot, but so did overcoming adversity, attending high school, getting accepted to college, earning a Master's degree, and becoming employed at one of the best engineering firms in the state.
I hope to be considered for this scholarship as it will get me a step closer to achieving financial independence and will make a longshot just a bit shorter.