This I Believe

Bradford - Bolton, Massachusetts
Entered on September 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Frederick Douglass once said “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” I believe firmly that the struggles that we go through make us stronger. This quote resonates within me because I have had to struggle my whole life. I am the second twin and from birth the odds were stacked against me.

I was born 12 weeks prematurely and spent the first 6 ½ months of my life in the hospital. During that time many complications arose, such as a collapsed lung, lung scarring from being on a breathing machine for 8 ½ weeks, brain bleeds, and my intestines bursting which resulted in me having only a 10-15% chance of living. I also developed low processing speed, which causes me to have a hard time transferring my ideas from my head to the paper. To help with this, I have come up with adaptive strategies, some of which are to make lists, make graphic organizers and to dictate my thoughts to people.

Despite this, I am earning good grades in all of my classes and I am right on target for my goal of attending college. I am also holding down a job as a dishwasher at a local upscale restaurant. This is the best job for me because of the fact that I am hoping to go to Johnson and Wales University to pursue a major in culinary arts. I have always had aspirations of becoming a professional chef.

Having lived through all of these problems has made me a stronger person and, at the same time, taught me three similar but important lessons. One of them was not to give up. Another lesson that I learned was that persistence pays. The final lesson was that I had the strength to face the odds and come out on top. These have helped me as I work towards my goal of becoming an Eagle Scout. The Eagle Scout award is the highest award in scouting. Only 4 percent of Boy Scouts ever attain their Eagle. A few of the many requirements that are needed in order to obtain it are that I need to show the ability to lead groups of people, I must earn 21 merit badges, and I have to do all of this before my 18th birthday or I’m not eligible.

I believe that the struggles that we go through make us stronger. I have always been in the minority that has struggled against all odds and come out on top. I believe that I will keep beating the odds well into the future.