Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Volunteering

Name: Serena
From: Orlando, Florida
Grade: 11
School: Colonial
Votes: 0

Life in general has many bumps in the road, and along with those
bumps comes failure. Some people ignore the failure and move on not
learning anything, while others accept it and apply what they learned
to life in order to succeed. My academic bump in the road started in
the very beginning. I was homeschooled until the 4th
grade, I started school a couple days into the school year and was
terrified from what I can remember. I was so afraid that I would be
bullied or that I wouldn’t make friends but my worst fear of all
was failing. The fear that I was going to be the dumbest kid in class
since I fell behind in homeschooling the year prior. I struggled hard
to be on the same level as all of the other kids in my class. They
were all talking about the FCAT from the year prior and I had no idea
what that even was. I felt like I was trying so hard; however, my
grades didn’t display my work well. Reports cards came out for the
first quarter and I got every letter grade. I was absolutely
devastated, I already had the lowest reading levels in class, I
answered the least amount of questions, and then I had a D and an F
on my very first report card. I felt like the biggest failure, my
parents had always told me that I would be really good at school;
however, I was nowhere close to meeting their expectations. I wanted
to leave school and go back to being homeschooled, but I was raised
to never give up, so I whipped into shape put in more work than all
the other students in my class, and by the 3rd report card
I got straight A’s, I raised my reading level to higher than my
grade, and I raised my hand more than everyone in my class. I am now
a senior, who is a 7 year AVID student, taking 3 AP classes, and
taking and extra after school course, along with extracurricular
activities and volunteer hours. Being homeschooled and coming from
behind everyone helped me to become the independent hard worker that
I am today. Having felt like such a failure when I first started
school made me strive to excel higher than everyone. I don’t want
to say that I now make grades a competition, but I do in a way. I
always try to do better than my siblings on my report cards, and test
scores. Failing made me realize how hard I can work, and how that
hard work pays off. I live off of the saying “when the going gets
tough the tough get going”. I learned that if I set my mind to
something, I can achieve it on one way or another. I learned that
when a situation is hard to tough it out and try harder and harder in
order to achieve my goals, and to excel expectations. I am grateful
for getting that report card in the fourth grade, because without it
I wouldn’t be where I am today.

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