Poverty is everywhere. It is a phenomenon and a universal problem. Many people and countries try to address or end it but have had little success. Living in poverty has affected me and my way of thinking. It has shaped my perspectives on life and made me who I am today. Determined. Growing up in the inner cities of Houston, Texas has taken a toll on me. I have been through many struggles some of them no one can imagine. The financial strain it has put on my family is unbearable. As the oldest child, the stress it has put on my parents pains me. Growing up I noticed the little things we had disappear slowly. We could not afford to buy certain things, some days we did not have food, water, of electricity. Growing up as a child I saw how my parents tried to make ends meet, many kids my age may not even know the burdens their parents have. When we turned to our family and friends for help no one was there. It hurt me. There were multiple times when homelessness was an issue. We were put in a housing program and on welfare because there was no other clear way to survive. Living in Poverty has affected my education. I want to graduate from high school and college, but my financial problems say otherwise. I do not want this to affect me and my life for the worse; the only way to get around it is with education. Poverty has motivated me to work harder in school so that I can do better in life. I do not want to struggle and suffer like this anymore. I work hard and my grades truly reflect this, I do not except any lower of myself because of my situation. I do not let the community in which I live in affect my education and beliefs. I do not use it as an excuse to go into the opposite direction when I should be looking straight ahead. I did not grow up like many of my peers with the latest gadgets and gizmos and other fads the world may offer, and I did not grow up with a computer and internet at home because my family could never afford it. In school if this was the case my siblings and I didn't just say, 'Well I don't have a computer so I don't have to do this,' we would all skip lunch and go to the school library or one of our teachers' classrooms to use the computer. Living in Poverty is not an excuse for me to not try harder. Here in the inner city I have seen many students fall apart. Like me, they go to school and can't afford much and in the end their dreams of doing something with their lives are crushed. I do not want that to be me. Each day I remind my five siblings that they could do whatever they set their minds to. I let them know that all things are possible. The society in which I live in motivates me to reach my goal of graduating from high school and going to college even with these problems. These obstacles are only the beginning. They do not define me or who I will become. I have changed the status quo for the better of my people. I am committed and determined because I have made it this far in life with many achievements and more to come, for me poverty is a challenge I will overcome. Someone was said that, “every educated person was not rich, but that educated people have a way out of poverty. So education is a fundamental solution to poverty.” A Pearlman Foundation Scholarship would benefit me because it would help me to get a higher education. I would be able to make my way out of poverty and uplift my family as well. I once heard my parents saying, “Virginia has worked so hard in school to get a better life, but I really don’t know how she is going to pay for college.” I realized that this was the truth. I have always known that I wanted to go to college but as the time got closer I had no clue how I was going to pay for a higher education. With this scholarship I will be on my way to reaching my goals and aspirations. I will not only graduate from high school but also from undergraduate and graduate/medical school to be the Family Doctor I am destined to become. It is said that “every educated person is not rich,” but what is richer than education that is key to a better life?