Throughout my short lifetime of difficulties and discouragements, education has
been the one constant and one motivation that helped me stay positive. When my life
seemed to be falling apart, I knew I could get on the bus, go to school, and enter a
classroom I never wanted to leave. Whenever I was having a bad day, I redirected my
energy and passion into learning.
My teachers have played a special part in creating this safehaven for me.
They’ve pushed me to grow in unimaginable ways, from reading dozens of chapter
books in third grade to writing seven-page research papers on hipster culture and the
struggle for identity in modern society. Each of my teachers has encouraged me to
channel the intensity of my struggles into my learning, which has allowed me to achieve
successes larger than I thought I was capable of.
Because of their influence, something in me changed. I found myself taking on a
more active role in my education — in and out of the classroom. I remember watching
How It’s Made in my freetime, the hours I spent constructing papers and projects for
pure self-gratification, and the hundreds of emails I’ve sent to my teachers, asking
questions and relating my finds to class discussions. I loved taking my education
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