Daeja Nelson-12th Grade

”Daeja Still Standing”

I am Daeja Nelson, a senior attending Arsenal Technical High School. I will graduate in May of 2011. My mother who was not a high school graduate will be so pleased when I walk across the stage next year. I will be her first child to graduate.

My mother has been a great inspiration in my life. She strives for me to be a hard worker, and always finish what I have started. I plan to attend four years of college to be a dentist. As a single parent, my mother has always been by my side. I have not always been as determined and driven as I am today.

Starting my freshman year was exciting, but it soon became difficult. I could not seem to get to school on time. I did not realize I was digging myself into a hole. I was expelled my freshman year. I attended an alternative school that did not allow me to earn all of my credits. That was a major setback for me.

My mother made me realize that without an education I would never make it anywhere in life. I worked hard to dig myself out of the hole I created. I can say that through all those tears and setbacks, I am still standing strong on track to walk in May of 2011 with a Core 40 diploma.

Seeing my mother struggle on welfare most of my life, I made a vow to myself that I would not follow in her footsteps. I plan to set an example for my siblings and show them the benefits of an education. I want a career and I want to be able to provide for myself.

I am so proud to be accomplishing something that is going to benefit me the rest of my life. Many people told me that I was not going to accomplish anything. For years I believed those negative things and I gave up hope. My mother encouraged me to take control of my life. I knew if I wanted a better future for myself I would have to do better.

I believe that as more women achieve their goals their daughters will follow. If there were more caring parents in the world like my mother, I feel every child would go to school without hesitation. I believe more parents need to take back authority from their children because they are growing up too fast, and they are not taking in enough positive information about life.

I am not the best and have not been, but as I get older I get wiser and I understand that school is a first priority. I am going to keep striving for the best and with no regrets. I am going to walk with my class 2011.

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