Towards the end of my sophomore year of high school, I found out that my father was laid off from his position as an insurance salesman. He spent the following months searching desperately for a job, but was unable to find another position. Our family ended up receiving welfare benefits to help pay for bills and food stamps to buy groceries. Times became so difficult that my father and I had to make tough decisions as to what utilities were most important, gas or water; electric or gas, and so on. It became very clear to me that I needed to make certain sacrifices in order to help provide for my family.
Now, I’m sure that other students have similar sad stories to tell, but mine is not a sad story. I learned at a very early age the important lesson of sacrifice and the importance of family. While going to school full time and spending hours after school playing sports or studying, I decided to wake up early and take on a paper route. Within the first week on the job, one paper route turned into four routes and I was delivering over 250 newspapers a week to the local community. I wish that I could say that I never complained. There were mornings that I would hate the alarm clock and despise waking up so early. I would curse each newspaper as I placed it in the plastic bags and prepared to walk the cold streets before most people were even awake. The best part was that I took what I had to in order to pay for gas, and the rest was used to help pay the bills. Imagine a 16-year-old kid paying bills – that is quite the achievement!
This experience helped teach me many lessons, and these are similar lessons that I take with me as I apply for the adult health nurse practitioner masters program. I know what sacrifice and hard work truly mean. These are lessons that were learned at a very young age and have never left me. My personality and character have been shaped around most of the events that took place over the 18 months that my father was unemployed. Times were very difficult for us, much worse than this recession our country is currently under, but they helped instill the drive to help others the best I can and ensure that people that need help receive it. This is why I deeply desire to enter this program.