“If I can overcome all these obstacles and challenges, then you can do anything!” the crowd cheers with the enigmatic thunder of my words.

I slowly step off the podium to a colligation of faces, my cane sweeping the rough tureen ahead of me. Dozens of faces clash into one huge mess as I shake hands upon my descent from the stage. My ears are a sponge that soaks up the cheers and the positive energy captivating everyone. The hands that I shake pump mine, and wonderful congratulatory praise lifts me up to touch the stars. As I take my seat in the audience beside my friend and father like figure, I reflect what just happened. My cane sits in my lap, poised for action the minute that I command it to. Life is splendid.

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I just had another liberating experience on top of a nice paycheck. I turn to Lionel with a huge grin.

His black face is a blur of happy emotion as he looks at me proudly.Everyone has dreams and goals. Reading mine, what did you think? Did you think I have delusions of grandeur? I can assure you that I don’t.Being a public speaker has taught me many things in my short life span of 21. It’s taught me the true raw definition of power and strength.

Strength isn’t what people think they can do. True, tarnished strength is in the soul, and the smile.Living a carefree life, I Just sit back and laugh with the world while still taking advantage of all the untapped untarnished energy and knowledge vastly dispersed within our lives. I had to, living with my mom.All throughout the nights where I was the bleeding victim of my mom’s furious flying fists, I lost all hope in faith. What was faith anyway, just blind hope? If that’s the case, I had none. Before I lived with my mom, my grandmother and grandfather briefly raised me.

I thought I had a home, but what’s a home anyway? A roof? A bed? Places where when you go there, they have to take you in and love you and care about you, even tell you good night. If so, then I was 12 years old when I became homeless. The place I was in wasn’t even considered a home. A home has love. It does not have some meaningless place you visit attached to the name. A home has a family, and I never had a home. I never even had food.

I never had a hug when I returned from school. I never even had a smile on my lips or the best grades in my high school. When I graduated high school and moved out of my mom’s place, I knew at that moment I had to make a choice. I could submit to everything that was happening and live a life of excuses… or I could push myself.

I could push myself and make my life good. That’s why I’m looking into this scholarship. With it, I can pursue my career in journalism, and help myself. Perhaps I could write stories that will save a kids life, give them that ray of hope I had stolen from me. Perhaps my mere words on the page might salvage some drug dealers on the streets, some homeless people on the corner. I’m smart. I KNOW I can succeed.

I just need a chance, a chance to climb out of the place where I was born. Everyone I know is angry and tired. They’re trying to survive. I know that there is a world out there that is better than what I have encountered, that is better developed. Now, I want to live in it. Sometimes I feel like there is skin upon the world. That those of us, who are created under it, can see through it.

We just can’t get through it. I believe I can peel it back, make that break through I’ve been searching for my entire existence, and I will. I CAN win this losing race, shine bright, and take a real breath of fresh air. Don’t believe me? Watch me.

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