From the BSAP Awards, Armoni Jackson

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Good evening,

Here is a little insight about who I am. I am the only daughter in my family. I grew up with three older brothers and we were raised by our mom because my dad couldn't be there to raise us. But we were surrounded by a lot of love. Growing up in a single family home was rough, not just because we struggled financially, but because I always wondered what it was like to grow up with two parents. But today I decided not to spend my time with you complaining about how hard and sad my life was moving every year and barely making ends meet. Because I decided to rejoice and celebrate the fact that although we had it hard, our mom always found a way. I could honestly say that through our everyday challenges our faith in God always got us through. He always made a way for us. So I tried hard to minimize my worrying at home and focused on my schoolwork. I made sure that I got good grades in school because I knew that my education was the key to success. So I set my standards and expectations high for myself and always pushed to accomplish more. I noticed that over the years it has been my persistence that allowed me to gain meaningful experiences. There have been times where I didn’t get into a selective program I wanted to get into, and I would refuse to give up. I was always happily surprised to get that congratulations you have been accepted into our program.

I remember in high school when I applied to a summer program called S2M2 and I didnt get in. I was sitting around with some people and expressed my disappointment. I was thinking about emailing back to ask if I could get a spot in the program, if someone dropped out last minute. One of my peers told me it wasn't a good idea because they said not to ask about application decisions. So I thought it over and decided to email after all because I reminded myself about what my grandma always told me: to not to be afraid to ask questions because the worst you can hear is no, and possibly a yes. I got a reply that I was waitlisted and would be notified if a spot became available, and a few days later it did.

So I just wanted to say: the challenges that we face in life, often shape and mold us into who we are today. My struggles at home pushed me and motivated me to do better at school and made me have that mindset to get up, and get what I wanted because who else was going to do it for me? I feel that none of my accomplishments would have been possible without God and my family.

Although I tend to complain at home about what I don't have or as my mom call it, start making a “pity party”, I like to step back sometimes to take a moment to appreciate what I do have in life and to look at what I have accomplished.

One of my favorite quotes highlight this: You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.

-Ziggy

Thank you,

Armoni Jackson

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