Draft's Picks

Joanne L. - "The Blind Side" Miami

Growing up, 1 haven't had the opportunity to live a "normal teenage life," but then again who am I kidding, who has? Growing up in a single parent home I've had to go through many hardships an many ups and downs but if t didn't go through what I went through back then, I would never grow up to be the beautiful, intelligent and sophisticated young woman that I am today, While My family's history has played a unique role in shaping me in to becoming who 1 am today, if I didn't have the perseverance and courage to get through the road blocks of life then I would never be the hard working student that I am today.

My "unique" story, as I like to think of it, started when I was 6 years old and first arrived to Miami, FL. After my older sister's and my arrival, my parents decided that it would be better for the children if they got back together. The first couple of months were great. We were almost one big happy family. My mom and dad were getting along great, my sister and I were still so very excited about being in a new country and learning so many new things, and my little brother took a sudden instant liking to his new foreign sisters. It wasn't until a couple of years later that things began to take a drastic turn for the worse.

My parents started to fight and argue almost every night. As a little girl ,I could not understand why my parents would always act the way they did and why after every fight my mother would say to me or my sister "it's because of you guys that I'm going through this" or "if it wasn't for you, I would never be here." My mother's words hurt me greatly, and after a while I started to feel a lot of resentment and animosity towards her. After a while, my mother finally decided that she couldn't take it anymore, so she moved out with my little brother and sister and left my sister and I with my father. After my mother left me, I was very hurt inside. I couldn't understand what 1 did to her that was so bad that she would just move out without saying a word and not even care to take her own daughter along with her.

As little girls, my sister and 1 had to begin to learn how to take care of ourselves, because our father was always working to make ends meet. While it was hard to teach myself everything that I needed to know to become a young lady, I always had my sister with me along the way to help me with anything that I had trouble with. If I ever had the chance to relive my life all over again, I would not hesitate or think twice. Looking back at my life, I'm now able to see that my living conditions have made me a stronger person. I know now that nothing in life will just be handed to me. If I want anything, then it will be my job to work my hardest to attain it. The only person that can hold me back is myself. The sky is the limit for me, and I intend to take every opportunity that I am given. My past has taught me that isn't always going to be what we expect it to be, but instead of complaining about it, we have to embrace life and take it as it comes.