Katelyn Tomasello

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I never realized just how many people and moments helped shape my life until I was trying to pick just one individual. The statement, “It takes a village to raise a child,” comes to mind while thinking about my own childhood. For as long as I can remember, my mom and dad have worked long hours to make ends meet, causing them not to be able to spend as much time with my sisters and I. To my relief, we weren't left with a mean babysitter or someone we didn't know because my Aunt Alicia was always willing to watch us. I use the term loosely when I refer to her as my aunt. This special aunt has influenced and caused a larger impact in my life than any of my other aunts. I would be more apt to refer to her as a second mom than an aunt. 

My Aunt Alicia gave me the courage to do what I was scared to do by constantly encouraging me to go out and do my best. She was always there at ceremonies and sporting events. She taught me that family was important not only by words, but by actions which she demonstrated in many ways by helping my mom and dad take care of us. My aunt also contributed a significant amount of help to my grandma. When I got to high school, my Aunt Alicia returned to college to get her teaching degree and further her education. Even though I know this wasn't her intention, watching her work harder than ever to take classes and substitute teach at the same time showed me that it’s never too late to do something and when there is a will, there is a way. As I go further into my life and education, I will use all that she has taught me to keep going and push toward what I want to do, while at the same time trying to put my family first and make an effort to treat the people in my life with importance.