This I Believe

Ali - Troy, Michigan
Entered on October 12, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Eye on the Prize

Throughout my whole life I’ve been raised to make goals, meet them, and move to the next opportunity. My family has instilled in me that failure is not an option in my life; that I, no matter the setback or roadblock, must persevere and finish. My dad has always told me quitting is a sign of weakness and that regardless of the circumstances I must overcome. Along with my family, my faith as a Christian has had a great influence on my values. I’ve set many goals in my life, and as I met each one, my faith has taught me that, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” (NKJV Philippians 4:13). Although this was written thousands of years ago, it is still an everlasting motivation for me.

Since my first day of kindergarten, my main academic goal was to attend the Detroit Country Day High School. Country Day represented the elite. When it was time to apply I had achieved a steady and solid 4.0 G.P.A. I went through the application process. Out of 150 applicants, I was a finalist. But, my heart was broken when I found out I had been denied the scholarship, I was deemed lacking of financial need. I was dejected when my grandmother lifted my spirits. She said, “Baby don’t worry about it, keep your head up and the Lord will provide.” Her words uplifted me and I wanted to show Country Day they had made a mistake. I was determined to succeed at Avondale.

Entering my freshman year, I was a man on a mission. I had an unwavering goal to become the valedictorian of my class. Everything was great; I was the captain of the JV Football team and held a 4.25 G.P.A. Then my life went downhill. After having a great first half to the football season, I was hoping to be promoted to the varsity team for the playoffs. Then I sustained a season-ending knee injury. Then only two months later my life was in the balance. At 12 am on December 3rd, I had an emergency appendectomy. As I entered the surgical room I could see the tears in my mother’s eyes. She whispered, “Everything’s going to be okay,” and recited the Lord’s Prayer over my body. My appendix ruptured on its way out of my body. Had I waited an hour later, I could’ve suffered a deadly infection. After recovering from my surgery, I was faced with an enormous mountain to climb, having missed two weeks of school. Through my ability to persevere and my faith in God I finished the semester with a 4.15 G.P.A, placing me at 7th on my way towards becoming a valedictorian.

Through these setbacks I’ve realized that my will is my strongest asset; that although things may stand in my way, I must and shall overcome. Through it all I’ve learned that if I keep my eye on the prize, I will be successful.