Please describe a personal, social, or academic challenge you have faced and how you overcame it.
The die had been cast before I was born, setting in motion many hardships and struggles. At the time when my mother was pregnant with me and my brother was three years old, my father had a stroke leaving him mentally and physically disabled. The state of New Mexico declared my mother "unfit" to care for my father plus two children and issued a legal separation between them. My mom, my brother and I were then forced to move to Bernalillo and live in low-income housing. My mother was in immense pain over the loss of her husband and struggled being a single mother of two. Growing up in the projects, I never saw much of a future for myself. I saw how unsuccessful the older kids growing up around me turned out to be. They ended up either dropping out of high school, going to jail, doing drugs or getting pregnant. I thought that I was doomed to this same fate. I thought that because I was poor, I was not intelligent and would never amount to anything, because of this thought I never really tried at school but still somehow managed to get by with decent grades. It was not until around middle school that I realized that academics could be my way to a better life. I realized that my circumstances were not limitations and that it did not matter where I came from, all that mattered was how hard I was willing to work. When I realized this, it was like a switch went off in my head and I began pouring every ounce of my being into my school work. I worked extremely hard putting in extra hours studying and staying after school for tutoring. Academics became an outlet for me and I now have a positive outlook towards the future. I feel empowered and excited in knowing that I am in total control of my life and have the power to do anything I want.
***i am 30 some words too long