My mom had become a single mom “overnight” and was working  2 jobs to support my little brother and me. I was only 14 so you could imagine how hard it was for me to take care of my brother while my mom was working nights. I fought through it because I knew that’s what I had to do… but school became more and more difficult. Before I knew it, I found myself in a mental hospital for trying to commit suicide but I regret it.

Lying in that bed that didn’t belong to me, being separated from the ones I loved, feeling all along truly made me realize that all my family ever wanted was the best for me. That summer a light bulb turned on for me and I made a promise to myself that I would be in charge of my destiny.

The next school year, I reached out to counselors, teachers, and family for help through school. One of my counselors was of great help to me and my family. She helped me express who I am today by recommending me for the AVID program. In the AVID program, I learned how to challenge myself by taking Honors and AP classes. Although balancing school and work sometimes gets hard, I still managed to make an average of 3.2 GPA in my senior year in high school.

My career choice is pretty ambitious but I hope to be an orthodontist someday. It is my dream to make people feel the way I felt when I first got my braces off. It would feel awesome to know that I contributed to someone’s perfect smile.

I know that everything is earned through hard work and effort but I have no problem with pushing through that hard work to get where I want to be in life. I believe education is a gift and something no one can take away from you. Knowing that neither of my parents graduated from college encourages me to graduate college and set an example for the generations that will come after me.

K.D., Hendrick scholar