Character Choices 2015: William Smith’s Entry

williamWilliam Smith
$1,000 Scholarship Winner
Grade: 11
Trait: Perseverance
Teacher: Ross
Bradford Academy

In my life I have persevered through many obstacle. When I was younger my home was always lively and there was always someone to play with. My brothers and I were especially close and we did anything and everything to entertain ourselves. Toys and games covered our basement floor and keeping anything clean or in order was foreign to us. The early years were carefree and full of fun.

Those days soon ended when my youngest brother, Brandon, was diagnosed with a rare and incurable disorder known as Pulmonary Hypertension. It affects the arteries in his lungs, which strains his heart and forces it to work three times as hard. His condition has forced him to live a life in and out of hospitals and has restricted him from enjoying the freedoms most kids his age are allotted. Not long after the diagnosis, my mother and father’s relationship began to crumble and they soon divorced.

Shortly after the divorce, my mother moved to Texas, taking Brandon with her and leaving my father to raise my siblings and I by himself. My father soon started a commercial cleaning company and our income greatly depended on the state of our economy. Our economy has fluctuated a lot within the last decade and because of this, I moved around a lot growing up and have experienced many different types of people and environments.

Moving from place to place has proven to be both a blessing and a curse. I constantly have had to adapt and make new friends, allowing me to learn things that others normally do not get the chance to. On the other hand, I have been ridiculed for just about everything that makes me who I am. I have dealt with racism first hand and suffered from severe depression. Derogatory names were common and stereotypical expectations that I could never reach were often set upon me.

However, I have persevered through these situations and have learned from them. People can think what they want, that is their prerogative. It was necessary to purge myself of the negativity brought upon me by ignorant people. Over time, I learned to channel my energy into what is important, my future.

I was not a model student in elementary or middle school so doing better did take a lot of conscious decisions to do better. If change was easy, everyone would do it. With that being said, my progress has been slow but consistent in its ascent. My ambition has not allowed me to be content or plateau in my climb to the top. The fire that burns inside me, that drives me towards success, in inextinguishable.

In high school I have made leaps and bounds in my effort. I have worked hard to build myself. I have joined clubs that would assist me in being productive and a leader such as National Honor Society and Student Government. I have also been elected class representative, taking on the responsibility of being the voice of my peers. Also, I am currently working on reforms to better our school. I have done community service projects such as trash pick-ups and book drives and in conjunction with school officials, I am working on getting better quality lunch for students.

As I get older and go through more experiences I plan to accomplish much more. I will go to college and attain the knowledge that I need. My goals are crystal clear to me and I am sure that through hard work my dreams will become a reality.