My story is one of humble beginnings. I was born in Houston, TX; the youngest of three to a single mother and a deadbeat dad. Times were hard, to say the least. It was not uncommon for our family to have clothes and food, or care packages, delivered to our doorstep. Seeing the perseverance required of my mother to keep us fed and dressed informed my work ethic. The first opportunity I had, I began working as much as possible to contribute to the household. I do believe in hard work and know that it pays off over time.
In my senior year of High School, I tested very well on my PSAT and SAT. I received a scholarship for Honors Engineering. The problem with that was that the scholarship would only cover tuition and nothing else. My family could not afford the occasional travel during breaks, etc. Food and board was also in question, so I knew I had to pay a good amount out of pocket by working on the weekends.
The bigger problem with that was that I still needed to help my mother pay bills at home before I could consider college expenses. The reality of going to school with a 16 hour schedule of Honors Engineering classes and 4 hours of homework daily from every class while trying to work on the weekends to help with bills came crashing down on me very quickly. The first 6 weeks I didn’t have books. I had to borrow books, rely on notes or stay late at the library- which ruined my carpooling.
Long story short, I had to quit.
A few years later, I got my Commercial Driver License and began driving tractor trailers. I have continued in this profession for almost my entire adult life. I am now a member of the middle class, but I don’t want this story to be repeated by anyone else who wants to pursue a brighter future. There were a myriad of ways that my life could have fallen through the cracks and this is what I worry about for our children. I want to empower our youth; propel them to higher levels than my generation.
I believe that we, as a society can uplift our youth and it will pay off in the grand scheme of things. The next Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, George Washington Carver or Stephen Hawking may be receiving a sub-par education and missing the opportunity to fulfill his or her full potential as you read this. I am willing to exert every ounce of my energy to stop this from happening. I am the hard-working citizen who feels the need to stand up and fight the good fight for the sake of our children.
Any help- volunteers, donations, advice, anything- is welcome and much appreciated. Thank you for your time and consideration.