Rakya - Hampton, Virginia
Entered on April 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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No matter where a person comes from they can overcome a way of life. As a child, I have been exposed to drugs, murders, sexual transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy. I realized that this was not the type of lifestyle I want for me or my family.

The place I was living ,associate the people living in it with the “bad” perception of African Americans. They influence society into thinking that blacks were nothing more than “ghetto” people who will never amount to anything. Although most of the people I grew up around would be perceived as negative, when I was growing up I did not feed into that lifestyle.

Being Percived as just another person who will make nothing out of their life is a disadvantage for me. Race and sex is just another step stone that I have to overcome. In order for me to focus on my success I would have to focus on a crucial time in my life, a move in high school that would make or break me.

In the second semester of my 11th grade year in high school, my family was having serious problems. We were in the middle of a big move to Hampton. the city was right next to where i lived, but it was still a lot that had to be done.Thoughout the move I became distracted. My grades had begun to fall. We were so use to our old neighborhood that when it came to the new area, we were lost. I realized that the move from our old neighborhood was for the best. The old neighborhood and lifestyle was something that I did not want to go back to. I had a lot of responsibilities on me, that meant that I had to grow up and really look at I wanted for my own life. At age 16 I realized that, the life I wanted for me or my family was not the old one.

At 17 I began my transformation. I knew that my senior year in high school would be a crucial time. I had to make sure that my grades were up to standards of the colleges. I started by taking the ACT. I was accepted into numerous universities, including Virginia Commonwealth, and Old Dominion University which I am enrolled in present day. College would be my getaway, able to live on my own, make my own personal decisions, all while focusing on my career and life ahead.

Society’s already bad views of blacks and minorities in general.

We are suspicious of each other and thus we are some of the biggest perpetrators of this stereotyping. A person can take all the pain and hurt that they have felt and turn it into positive reinforcement to change their life. What I was surrounded with because it made me who I am today, a person who refuses to be another statistic.