I believe in perseverance.

Mark - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on January 17, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

When I was still in high school I always thought I wanted to be in the military. I was seen as a good leader by my teachers and classmates and thought I would be up to the task. I applied and was accepted to the United States Military Academy and was to go there right out of high school. I attended the academy for 8 months and met many wonderful people there, but while I was there I found that I did not want to be in the military.

This was a problem for my parents who knew that it was a good school and that I would be set for life. In my heart I knew it was not for me. Unfortunately, my parents said I did not have a home to come home to if I left the academy. I, being unhappy there, left anyway and stayed up in New York. I had a hard time in New York by myself and had to take up a few jobs just to stay afloat in the big city. I persevered there for 6 months then decided to make the haul back to San Antonio where my home was. School was cheaper and I knew education was important.

My parents were barely talking to me so I got myself an apartment there and took up a small job and started going back to school on my own. I would visit my parents on occasion and try to bridge that connection. It took many months but I finally rebuilt the relationship with them. Since then we have a better relationship than the one we had while I was in high school. I am a full time student studying to get a dual major in Computer Science and Math. I even moved back with my parents to save on rent and food.

I had the perseverance in life to know what I want and to stick by it. I was able to stand tall on what I believe and take action. If I had not persevered and just let the world take me I do not know where I would be right now. I am thankful that I was able to stand up and take charge of my life. I would hope this story helps others who want to take a stand but are scared. Once you overcome the fear and accept it you can move forward and take command of your life.