Nijah' McNeal

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“God doesn’t give you anymore than you can handle.” Growing up, this quote was the only thing that kept me going. As a child, my parents always told me to stay focused in school so that one day I will have the opportunity to follow my dream career. Neither my mom nor father went to college so this meant to me that I needed to be the exception and make them proud. The first semester of my freshman year was very eye opening. Hearing day after day that your high school years are the most important years in your life didn’t mean anything to me. I started hanging out with the wrong crowd and instantly gave up. Once I seen that the results of my actions weren’t anything that neither my parents nor myself would be proud of, I relocated and hit reset. I joined every club that was available at my leisure and also maintained straight A’s throughout the school years. Change in this case saved me. Things began to fall apart once I reached a comfortable place in high school. My dad became homeless and my mom lost her job and house. Finances became a huge issue but I continued to do well in school only because I knew that in life, excuses don’t count. I had given myself hope that I had one foot in the door to success. I worked and worked until I had reached my best potential. I am currently Vice President of my graduating class, activities director of Scholars Plus, National Honor Society member, Student Council member, etc. I may not be the smartest girl in the world nor the top scholar of my school but my struggle made me realize that I am one passionate and derived young African American female.