This is from one of our seniors, Elijah. He won a city-wide contest with this essay.
"Reality hit me in the back of that police car, cuffs cutting off the circulation in my hands, headed
towards the nearest detention center. At that moment, in my eyes, my life was completely ruined and
there was nothing I could do about it. All the wrongdoings I was caught up in had finally caught up to me. . . .
At 15 years old I began to get in trouble at home and at school, not unlike many children my
age. My mother, who had enough of me, sent me back to live with my father. I ended up right back in
the streets of Southeast, D.C., the same place my mother had worked so hard to keep me away from. At first, and for a long time, it was difficult adjusting to living with him when I had been raised by mother for the majority of my life. It was not until I moved in with my father that I began to understand him as a person. With the newly found freedom that came with living with my father, I began to fall of track more and more. Slowly but surely, I was becoming a product of my environment. I found myself smoking and drinking, skipping school, and hanging with a crowd that could do nothing but bring me down. More than a year later, I woke up in a jail cell not knowing when I would be able to see the light of day again. I found it ironic how in a place that drives some people crazy, I found peace. I was tired of walking down the wrong path, tired of trouble finding me, and more than anything I was tired of seeing my mother hurt because of what I was doing. It was inside those walls that I decided thatG6J7W7 I wanted more for myself and something had to change.
I came out, not yet a new man, but one with a plan for success. My first step to getting back on
track was to begin attending school regularly. Thankfully, school had always come fairly easy to me so my struggles with life weren’t reflected by grades too much. Secondly, I began to separate myself from the people who were holding me back from unlocking my true potential. It was not until I began to focus on myself that I realized how misguided my former friends were and how much just being around them impacted me as a person. Last but not least, I decided to lead a life free of drugs, alcohol, and any other substance that does damage to my body. I began to excel in the classroom, my relationships with family members improved, and I began to feel more alive than ever. I now look at every obstacle I faced as a blessing in disguise. I stayed strong through everything and used it to my advantage. Simply put, I would not be the young man I am today if I did not experience those hardships. To me, that is the beauty of life, something good can come from the darkest places and most difficult situations.
With my newfound direction, I would like to attend college and study business administration
and management. Since a young child I’ve had an entrepreneurial spirit, from selling my artwork to my peers in elementary school to now selling snacks and drinks in between classes while at school. What I do now is small in comparison to my dream of one day owning my own businesses, such as a barbershop and my own personal training facility, just to name a few. More than anything, I want give back to the youth of the world. On a daily basis, I am surrounded by misguided youth, children who just simply need someone in their life to show them they care and they would like to help. I don’t like to think of myself as better than anyone else, but I feel as though I am truly blessed with great wisdom for my age and I would like to share everything that I know with others that are lost like I once was. I would like to mentor young children who grow up in troubled areas and grow up without strong father figures in their life. I want to put myself in the position to be able to give money freely to those in need and I also would like to start a scholarship fund of my own.
There is endless potential in neighborhoods like mine that nobody takes the time to visit, but I
plan on visiting them and helping to turn that potential into something positive. When it is all said and done, I will help others to choose the right path in life. In the meantime I will stay on the right path so that I accomplish my goals. That path is now leading me to college. College is the best option that will allow me to fulfill my dreams! This is “Why I Want to Go to College”.