My story is likely different than many of the entries that you will receive from young people leaving home for the first time to begin their independent lives and pursue their own dreams, whether it be college or vocational school. I remember being fresh faced and filled with hope and ambition, it seems like the world is yours for the taking. I wish all of those young dreamers well.
This story, my story, is full of hope and dreams of a better future for myself and for my three boys. I am a 43 year old graduate student at the University of Northern Colorado. My coursework is 100 percent online and works well for me as I am working a full-time job at Douglas County School District for the Special Education Department as an assistant on the Assistive Technology team and raising three boys as a single mother. I left an abusive husband to pursue my dreams of a better life and healthy environment for my children. In my former relationship he wanted complete control of me and did not allow me to work outside the home. I was not allowed to apply for graduate school or any other position that would take me away from my wifely and domestic duties. He did not want me to be independent or free thinking at all.
In January of 2020 it will mark 3 years that I moved into my Invitation Homes rental on Wonder Drive in Castle Rock, CO. It is my independence day! It is the day that I got my life back. It symbolizes a dream that evolved into an action to live a life of my choosing and pursue my goals for myself and my family. I wanted to show my boys that they are worthy of being loved without punishment and fear. I wanted to show my boys that if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything. You can leave behind a life of oppression and abuse and take care of yourself and your loved ones.
When I left behind my old home and my old life I took my favorite picture of my boys. I keep it on an inspiration board on a wall right beside my bed. It is the first thing I look at every morning when I wake up. That picture is so special to me because I believe a home is only a building unless there are people in it. The people in my home are the best part about my home. My boys are my heart and the reason I try so hard every day to make a new, better life for all of us. My boys are my “why”. They are why I am in graduate school. I want to be able to provide a more financially stable life for us in the future. This career that I am working towards is not just about financial gain. This career will give me the opportunity to become a teacher of visual impairments. I have wanted to help people my entire life. I discovered my passion for working with students with exceptionalities 6 years ago and I don’t want to do anything else with my life.
Winning this scholarship would help my family so much. We try to live on tight budget as we know that short term sacrifices are a part of long term gain. Eventually I will have my Master’s degree and be able to begin the career of my dreams. Eventually I will not be paying for school and my budget will not be so tight and we will be able to start saving for my boys post-secondary school dreams. Thank you for reading my story and for considering me for this scholarship.