When I was young, my household consisted of my mother, my grandmother, and my uncle. I had no contact with my father. My mother took a passive role in my upbringing causing my grandmother to raise me primarily. I lost her to severe pneumonia when I was 10. My mother tried to continue my grandmother's efforts; although, began to fall short. She did not work and withdrew most days leaving me to my own actions/thoughts. My uncle, who was providing all financial support passed when I was 11 leaving my mother and myself with no financial support.
She applied for financial assistance and we were barely surviving. With my mother’s withdrawal from life, little financial skills, and poor organization I did not have food, clothes, or discipline. After an investigation by child services, I was placed in foster care. Upon returning to my mother's care, I had lost hope of a "normal" life.
Prior to placement in foster care, I had volunteered at the local hospital to gain hospital experience, since I had wanted to be a doctor. After the foster home experience, I felt alone and destitute. I saw no hope of obtaining such a grand educational journey.
At the age of 20, my son was born and I began working long hours. The relationship with his mother did not last. I continued to work; although, had many ups and downs along the path. My mother passed away when I was 23 leaving me with no close family. My father continued to be removed. I struggled with the gap in my life and felt alone, but continued on and was married at the age of 24. My daughter was born and I promised myself to strive higher in life. I took a chance and applied for a better job, which would double my salary —I was accepted! My life was again changed due to divorce and a lay-off at 27 years old. For my children, I decided to pursue college and my dream. Succeed or not, at least I tried.
I began at the local community college and was then able to transfer to a 4-year college for a degree in Biology. I applied to 5 medical schools in the area to stay close to my children. I was accepted in 2006. I dedicated myself and did not let anything distract me from my goal.
I am now a practicing physician and could not be happier. I did eventually become close to my father only to lose him a few months before my medical school graduation. I am close with my son, who is now 22 and my daughter, who will soon be 18. I continue my journey to advanced leadership positions and continue to refuse negativity. I continue to be inspired by those I meet who have gone through much worse than I and have achieved success.
We can all obtain so much in our lives. I hope this story provides you hope.
Submitted by Daniel
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