Another scholarship essay that asked how you planned on putting your education to use. I don’t remember the organization it was submitted to but it was a fun little essay on which to reflect.
When I was younger college was not a consideration.
By United States’ standards I come from an abjectly poor family. We lived in a car and were often without food. We were so nomadic that I did not attend school regularly until around the third grade. More telling in what path my future might take was that neither parent had attended college or worked a profession. The same was true of most of the adults in my circle of influence.
Several high school teachers had seen promise in me and encouraged me to attend college. Unbeknownst to me this encouragement, this alternative view of my potential, planted the beginnings of my dreams. But overcoming the idea that college was not for “people like me” was of a monumental change. I was not only poor, but a girl, one that tended to be pudgy, one that was black. It would take many years for me to finally embrace my right to a place at the table.
And now I see my place as an architectural designer, building affordable quality housing for people. Having a home and community was lacking from much of my childhood and now I want to put those simple but vital things within reach of others.
At many junctures along the way I ran into obstacle. People who threw up barriers. Some of these barriers were the subtle whisper of societal norms, “girls can’t do that,” and some barriers were outright and hostile attempts to keep me in my place. Everybody faces challenges, but not everybody faces them equally.
The more important people on my journey were those who whispered to me of my potential. Despite my immaturity, my laziness, and my lack of personal vision, they kept at it and saw for me the future I could not yet even dream. And by their support a seed was planted, took root, and is now growing. I still have barriers; but slowly I learned how to go around them.
In order to make my dream of building affordable housing a reality, I will need to make contacts within those communities. I try and do this through volunteering in ways that put me in contact with city policymakers. In order to learn more about municipal codes, building houses, and finding creative ways to make those houses affordable I will seek an internship with a builder or an architectural firm.
As life evolves and one dream is achieved, hopefully another takes its place. My hope is that my future will continue to evolve, grow, and inspire me to keep making dreams into realities.