Getting my Take Stock Scholarship was a complete blessing! Being a teen mom and college student was definitely not in my plans. I imagined myself going off to USF Tampa and living the college life. At first, it was hard to accept that I was no longer a "normal teenager". Learning I was pregnant put a lot of disappointment in my family, especially in me. I was never a straight A student. I didn't participate in many school activities or clubs and I was never the popular girl. I always kept to myself. This way, people wouldn't know that I was pregnant. I was ashamed and felt like such a burden.
One day I realized that I hadn't come all this way in my life to give up. I was blessed with a precious gift and had a scholarship that gave me such a wonderful mentor that believed in me. So, I never gave up. I pushed through all the tears and heartache. I was able to tell my family and loved ones, that I did it! When my gorgeous daughter is older, I'll be able to tell her, that I did it and that I never gave up. When wonderful opportunities like Take Stock In Children come along, you fight your way to accomplish whatever it is you want to do.
My first semester at State College of Florida was harder than ever. I worked two jobs, went to school and took care of my now, 14 month old baby girl. In the end I ended up being on Dean's list with a 4.0. So when I think for one second that I can't do it, I think of all the opportunities I was given because of Take Stock and my little girl. This is when I stand up, brush my knees off and keep going. Thank you Take Stock, my family and especially Mariela for believing in me.