Faculty Instructor: Peter McKenna
As a child on my way to school, I would walk past drug dealers whose criminal background prevented them from other job opportunities. I wondered if they ever envied me for the guidance and wisdom I have received from my family about colleges and careers.
They watched from their front steps across the street, as my father loaded my luggage into the truck of the car. When I unpacked my belongings into my dorm room the air smelled like a fresh start. Taking the top bunk felt symbolic of my continuous progress to the top, because I used to fear remaining at the bottom of the society hierarchy. However, success comes to those who are too focused to fail. Success also requires professionalism and a mindset that keeps circumstances in perspective. I am aware that not everything in life turns out as planned, but I have to make sure I am working steadily towards my goals. I want to move in a direction that will bring lasting memories, accomplishments and opportunities, while moving forward in life.
Acquiring financial stability is a priority and of utmost importance to me in my future ability to support a family. This is my dream. One day my skin will glitter in the sun’s light, and I will dance to the melody of my heart- I am a strong, intelligent, wise, and powerful African-American woman.
Growing up in the pit of poverty motivates me to provide a comfortable lifestyle for me and my family in the future. My parents carry an unbearable load of stress, but they also encourage me to pursue my dreams. I appreciate the sacrifices my parents have made and continue to make for our family. No matter how far behind they fall on bills, nor how tired and weary their bodies might be, they continue to work hard. There is always spaghetti or rice and fish with vegetables on the dinner table. Sometimes they even take my older sister and me out to a restaurant and movie. My parents’ limited finances impact me and energize my passion to create a better lifestyle, so that one day my children will not need to endure the immense disadvantages I have had to overcome.
I look forward to earning high academic standing and leadership skills throughout my college career. Admission and attendance to St. John’s University is one of my greatest successes. I am determined to attain a higher education regardless of my parents’ financial inability to put my sister and me through school. I spent nights searching for scholarships and hours sculpting my applications. Throughout my college application process I was scared and confident. I was scared because I could not afford college. However, I remain confident in myself and my abilities to reach the opportunities that make attending this university possible.
Growing up, I was aware that college was a long shot for youths from poor communities. When I was in the tenth grade my father said, “Go to a college you can afford.” Because of this, I did not expect my father to bring home a thick scholarship book from our local library. He inspires me to find avenues that fund my college education. My mother added that she would help me in any way she can, even if this means borrowing from her retirement savings. Now that I have entered college, it is one of the best feelings of success I have ever felt. It is also a stepping stone to many more opportunities to come!
My aspiration is to be an Accountant, thriving at a company where I will gain financial stability. Interning at Tiffany and Company this past summer was an incredible experience, because it is real exposure to the financial business field. As I move forward in my career, I may not know what industry or department I would prefer to work in, although I am excited to explore the options, and to face all new challenges.
After achieving my Bachelor’s degree, I would like to start working at an accounting company full-time that will reimburse tuition while pursuing a Master’s degree. Once I build lasting relationships, networks, and a deeper understanding of how a business functions, I would like to open my own business.
I am particularly interested in owning my own fitness resort offering a variety of outdoor activities and workout classes. As I develop my ideas I imagine adults making arrangements to spend a weekend or vacation at my resort to enjoy a creative environment that is fun, playful, and innovatively promotes exercise. The playgrounds for children in my local community were not exciting or fun to play in. It was just a location to talk with friends and watch people play recreational basketball. I always wished for more ways to play and exercise as an adult.
I refuse to confine myself to one long-term career option. However, I do like having a sense of direction to maintain. I hope to keep things in perspective and to remain open to wherever life and my decisions may take me. That being said, why limit myself to just accounting? Developing a resort is an idea that I look forward to developing and pursuing because it is so interesting to think about! Successfully running an exciting business will be a deep satisfaction. Accomplishing my goals throughout my life and maintaining financial stability is my definition of success. I aim to dance through even the darkest night- because the sun will always rise in the morning. I make the continual climb.