Unfortunately, things have not magically improved for me since relocating. I have been rerouted several times, and my college dorm room will likely be the first stable home I have ever known. I have lived with four different families in the past three years. Each transition has been a bit more difficult than the last. I also have financial responsibilities that typical high-schoolers do not have to concern themselves with. I currently have a part-time job averaging 30 hours per week, which helps cover expenses such as my phone bill, groceries, school dues, and transportation.
Despite these experiences, however, I consider myself a conqueror because not only have I realized what is best for me but I have sacrificed in order to make my dream a reality. God is now surrounding me with a circle of people who provide the support I was previously lacking. They have encouraged me to reach for new heights, have provided emotional and financial support with my efforts in getting into college, and have even (lovingly) fussed at me when needed. While balancing work and a full course load, I have been able to maintain a 3.0 grade point average. I consider myself to be a “regular” teenager, and enjoy playing on the varsity basketball team and hanging out with my friends. I am even looking forward to going to prom later this month.
I will be graduating in May and have been accepted into Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. I look forward to furthering my education, and am confident that I will be successful as I have already mastered certain life skills such as time management, adapting to new environments, and balancing multiple responsibilities at once. Although my childhood was difficult, I am now in a place where I can appreciate the lessons that those experiences taught me and I can in turn use them as building blocks toward my success.
Realistically I understand that college will still bring its own set of challenges. I will once again have to uproot myself and move to a new environment. I will continue to work while in school to ensure I have safe housing and other basic necessities. And I can only imagine that excelling in the engineering program will require an even higher level of resilience. While more speed bumps, potholes, and detours may await me, I trust that I am strong enough to continue to persevere. Because I have learned that the strength that lies within me is much greater that any obstacle that may lie before me. And I continue to trust that my best is yet to come.”
Mr. Nolan, Devonte Harris‘s teacher:
I have worked extensively with Devonte at school this past year. No student has ever impressed me or made quite the impact on me he has. He is an inspiring young man and capable of great things. We all at his school are excited for what is ahead. I want to thank you for taking this interest in Devonte. Every dollar is a huge help for him.