ALL WAYS UP FOUNDATION wrote -
At the age of six, I watched my dad physically abuse my mom and leave my family with more problems than he could ever know. The day he left, my older sister Sirena stood at the door bawling tremendously, begging our dad to stay, while I sat silently on the chair and stared blankly ahead, watching. A bittersweet numbness overtook me, poisoning my emotions for the years to come. I knew the pain of no longer having a father figure in my life, but I subconsciously blocked my feelings so I would not have to hurt myself. The lack of regard my family had for education made me unfocused. Education and the thrill of learning were furthest from my mind; my family did not have a very positive relationship with education. My mother lived in Honduras and never finished high school there; when she moved to America, she had to become a housekeeper just to make ends meet. My sister was no better— she had no interest in keeping her grades up because she suffered from the lack of a father to lead her, she flunked out of high school, and had to go to a continuation institution. As a result, I never had a strong role model in my life—I had no guidance to push me towards a definite realization of what I planned to be when I grew up. ?However, in tenth grade, my outlook on life began to change. I enrolled in AP classes because I wanted to be challenged through diligent work. I found out quickly that to be on top of my game, I had to take school seriously. I decided that if I took a college-level course, then college needed to become a solid foundation for my future. In that year I took control of my future and set out to search for assistance I could not find at home. One day, one of my mentors from a college-assistance program I had joined—a man named Sergio—helped paint the most beautiful picture of my future aspirations I had yet encountered. Sergio asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, a question that haunted me all my life. I replied with the same chilling response that I had been accustomed to saying: 'I don’t know.' I told him of my love for listening to and helping people, and he suggested that I take a look into the field of sociology. His advice gave me the guidance I needed to begin to form the ideas of what my future could be. It was an uphill struggle for me, in terms of the emotions, the disillusionment, and the bitterness I felt. Today, however, I believe that this is what makes me special. By finally being able to face my family problems head-on, I let go of the fear that was holding my potential for a better life back. As a result, I learned a lot about myself and realized that I am more than capable of creating an improved life for myself. Today, I am grateful for the struggles I have endured. They have made me eternally grateful for the opportunities I have received and allowed me to narrow down my educational goals for the opportunities still to come. A Perlman Foundation Scholarship would benefit my educational goals by allowing them to flourish to the greatest of their potential without the limitations of the financial burdens I have faced in the past. The scholarship would not only assist me in financing my educational goals, but it would also continue to give me the confidence in myself—in knowing that others believe in the potential I have to become successful. Although I had a harsh childhood and continue to face hardships everyday, it only ignites my determination to confront the negativity in the world. I now have the courage to face my fears, and as a result, I feel greatly empowered and more excited for my educational goals than ever before.