My Hardships Made Me Who I Am Today

Essay by Nakia Simmons

This is an essay by Nakia Simmons, a finalist for the 2018 WeParent Scholarship. She is a student at Columbus State Community College.

As a child I’ve been through so many hardships, all in which made me who I am today, which is a wonderful single mother. I am someone who works for what I want and deserve. I am also a young lady that loves school and will finish college regardless of my circumstances. I was raised in a single parent household, by my grandmother. Both of my parents were on drugs and not fit to raise me or my siblings.

As I entered middle school I moved in with my mother even though she was still in her process of recovery, she was trying to make an effort to be responsible. My father was still battling drugs in the city of Dayton. Although I and my brother were under age we were constantly left home alone to feed and take care of ourselves. It was our job to get up, get ready, and get on the school bus. As a young child my brother couldn’t take the pressure of raising his little sister and going to school so he dropped out and spent majority of his childhood life in the streets being a hustler. When my brother left our home I was devastated. I had to take care of myself. It was really important that I paid close attention in school because when I got home there was no-one there to help me with my studies. It was very difficult for me but I continued to work hard and maintain good grades.

As I entered high school I continued to rely on myself for support. During my first year of high school I got pregnant, my family was very disappointed and refused to talk to me. My mother tried to force abortion on me but my heart and faith wouldn’t let me do it. August 14 2009, I was blessed with a beautiful baby boy and became a single parent. I expected my mother to support and be there for me but she disappeared. I cried myself to sleep for many years because of the lack of love I received, being a single parent home sometime you have to tolerate abuse such as verbal and emotional, which I did. As I became older I looked at my mother and decided that I would make her proud, show her that her being a single mother would not change my life outcome.

As a student I always made good grades with help from my teachers of course. Many teachers knew my situation as a child and they dedicated there time and energy to make sure I achieved my goals, no they didn’t give me extended time or easier assignments, it was my job to confront them and ask for extra attention. In high school I’ve came across many teachers who could care less about their students, but this did not discourage me, as a person of confidence and hardships I would not let someone else’s short comings bring me down. I continued to do my best and make honor roll and super honor roll. All that soon came to a halt. The first quarter of my junior year I struggled enormously and received the lowest GPA of my entire school career. As an intelligent young lady it is my duty to try more than hard, to do more than my best, and get my grades up back to my expectations.

I‘ve always had an unexplainable love for school. It was always my way of releasing stress and showing people that my background and upbringing did not define who I was, it was only a part of the journey. I was smart and still able to be successful not matter the hardships. Computers were always my strong point starting in elementary school. At a young age I was always the go to for computer issues and questions. Computer literacy was so easy for me to comprehend, while acting as a foreign language to others. I can take apart a computer and put it back together with no problem or manual. I feel that completing college is my destiny. My aunt graduated from Ohio Dominican and she even made the dean’s list. I hope to do the same and much, much more.

I’ve witnessed many hardships and out of everything I been through I regret nothing. My childhood has helped me become the wonderful person I am today. I am a dedicated worker and push for what I want and deserve. Regardless of my circumstances I will stop at nothing to graduate from college with my bachelors in Computer Science. Many people place us individuals that were raised in single parent household into this statistic group that is followed by a life of poverty but let me be the one to say don’t let government statistics define who you are and destined to be. As long as you work hard for what you want you can accomplish anything. Look at Justin Beiber, Bill Clinton, Jack Nicholson, Barack Obama Adele, Kanye West the list goes on, two things all these people have in common successful and raised in single parent households.

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