The 20-Mile Walk
Well, before I went to undergrad, I was homeless. I was 17 years old and hadn’t been in school since I was 12 (I was home schooled and my parents divorced). I had no transcripts, no GED, and no family in the state. Some friends of mine were visiting a university in a neighboring state and I joined them. I discovered that because my mother (whom I hadn’t spoken with in a year) lived in that state, I could get grants to go there. I returned to the broken-down Pontiac Grand Am I was sleeping in, determined to go to that university. The first thing I had to do was get a GED. The nearest testing site was over 20 miles away. I didn’t have any friends who were willing to drive me there, and as previously mentioned, the car was broken down. So I walked there, took the first days test, and walked most of the way back before a cop picked me up because he’d heard reports of someone walking down the side of the interstate. Fortunately, the cop took mercy on me and drove me to my broke-down car.
A friend heard about what I had done and graciously drove me to the testing site the next day. I finished the GED and prepared to go to the university.
I showed up at the university with 10$, a GED, no transcripts, and no ACT or SAT. The university said I could sleep in the dorms for the night, but they wouldn’t know if they could accept me until I took the ACT the next morning (!). I couldn’t sleep that night. I hadn’t had any formal schooling since I was 12 and I’d never studied for the ACT in my life. I took the test and scored a 28 (damn that 18 in math…). I was in. I couldn’t afford textbooks for the first 3 semesters, but I borrowed them from friends when I could and worked hard. I managed a 3.0 after the first three semesters and finally got enough money to buy books. I graduated with a 3.34 and because of my LSAT scores, I received a scholarship to go to law school. I am now about to be a 3L, a year away from being an attorney.
Throughout my educational journey, the 20+ mile walk to get my GED has served as a microcosm of sorts. I was tired, so tired, but I just focused on taking that next step knowing that I was one step closer to where I wanted to be. The thought of my younger siblings pushed me forward. I knew that if I could make it, then they would look to my example and pursue an education as well. As I write this, my youngest brother, now 17, is sleeping in the next room. He lives with me and I am guiding his educational journey. I helped him get his GED and he was recently accepted to a state university where he will major in biology. He aspires to be a doctor.
Entry filed under: Inspiring.