My mother always told me that hard work and perseverance pays off, and that with it I could do anything. My mother only ever went to second grade and was a single mother who raised my sister and I on her own working in construction to get by. My father was not in the picture, he was a high school drop out who lived out his days in prison. My mother always hoped that we would be able to make something of ourselves, knowing that she would never be able to put us through college herself. My mother struggled with drug addictions and thus money has always been a struggle. We were ALWAYS poor.
I began working full time at fifteen, and haven't looked back. I helped cover the expenses as needed and quickly learned the "value of a dollar". As I grew older and into my final year of high school, I became pregnant very unexpectedly and knew that in choosing life, I would be choosing an even harder struggle. I maintained my grades and became the first and only person in my entire family to graduate with a high school diploma and I was SO proud. But I didn't want to stop there, I dreamt of a life of financial stability and wouldn't stop until I reached success. So I enrolled in Pima College with hopes of not only being the first to graduate high school, but the first at obtaining a degree.
So after high school, I got to work. Working two jobs, and saving money to move into a place that was suitable to raise a child while juggling 12 credit hours of classes and I haven't looked back.
College is not easy, being a college student and a parent isn't easy, and being a college student who is a parent, who works full time has tested every ounce of my faith and determination. No one has ever told me that this journey would be easy and I have had weak moments, and struggles. I have sacrificed many freedoms in hopes that all of my hard work will pay off. I have overcome many obstacles and reached many small successes.
I was able to buy a newish reliable car, and I was able to put my small family (which has grown over the years) into a house nicer than any I have ever lived in. I work hard, and have a tight budget . And though I continue my journey through college, nearly reaching my goal of obtaining my Associated Degree, I feel the success growing in me. I have chosen a different path than my mother, father, grandparents, and sister. I have chosen a life of success away from the drop outs and drugs.
It is my hope that I can be an example for my children. That I can show them that hard work truly does pay off. Until then, I celebrate all my small successes. From avoiding the negatives that hold my family back, to graduating high school, buying a car, and soon to be buying a house and having a college degree. I will not stop until I am successful in a career that offers the stability I have always only dreamt of.
So the story of my success is only starting, I will be something one day and I know this, because I wont stop working my hardest until I do.