Second Chances

Sherri - Gardner, Massachusetts
Entered on October 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, gratitude

I was going nowhere at Gardner High School. Failing two classes for the year as a junior was the conformation of that. I had to do something to turn my life around and get on the right path. Lawrence Academy was my only hope. I had two days to write my essay and get it faxed over to the admissions office. I pulled it off, and went in about a week later for my interview. As I sat in the waiting room I was thinking, “Why am I here? There’s no way this private school is going to accept me!” I was wrong. Lawrence Academy sent me the acceptance letter, confirming that they had faith in me and they were giving me a second chance to turn my life around and do what I needed to do to succeed, unlike the rest of my family.

When I was born, my brothers and sisters and I were taken away from our parents because of their drug and alcohol addiction. My sister Carol and I were taken in by a couple when I was three and she was five, and finally adopted when we were six and eight. My two older brothers and sister never had two stable adults whom they could call “Mom” and “Dad” in their lives, who had a good head on their shoulders and who they could look up to and lean on for support. Unfortunately today, my two older brothers and father are in jail because of drugs and my oldest sister is a heroin addict and a prostitute. My mother passed away four years ago from a drug overdose. My sister Carol and I were given a second chance when we were taken out of the foster homes, and brought into a loving family who could nurture and bring us up in a normal and healthy environment. If we hadn’t been so lucky and blessed by having that second chance to “make it,” who knows where we would be today.

These “second chances” have had a huge impact on my life. They are the reason why I am here today, writing this paper, at Lawrence Academy. If I had continued to hop from foster home to foster home along with my three other siblings, I probably would’ve dropped out of school like they all did, ran back to my biological parents, and started using drugs like the rest of them. If Lawrence Academy hadn’t excepted me, and didn’t have faith that I could get out of the slump I was in and take advantage of the true potential that I had buried deep inside me, I would’ve given up. I believe in taking advantage of second chances. I took advantage of the chances that were put before me, even if I had some obstacles to overcome along the way, and here I am today, going to college and looking forward to the future ahead of me!