When I was born, my family was living in motels. We moved around multiple times a month, from one ratty motel to the next while my mother and father went on one drug induced binge after another. Not long after the birth of my younger sister, they divorced. Living with my mother was a life that held a lot of bad memories.

My mother never had enough money to support four children and her drug habit. She put herself first. If she had a bad day, she would take it out on me. She would beat me down emotionally until I hated every aspect of myself because of the things she would say.

School became my outlet; I poured my heart, my soul, and my life into my artwork. As great as school was, I always dreaded getting back on the bus to go back home.

Out of everything I’ve been through, and everything that has happened, I wouldn’t change any of it even if I got the chance. What I’ve lived through has ultimately made me a better person. I’ve chosen to learn from my past. No matter how emotionally drained I was, I never lost faith in my education.

I fully intend to continue my education regardless of what it takes. I want to be able to help kids like me learn from their struggles instead of succumbing to them. I plan to become an art teacher or art therapist. I truly believe that with art can come great healing. I want to be able to impact people’s lives for the better.

M.C., Hendrick scholar