From a young age, though loved by family, remained behind the line of privilege.

I had a learning disability, they said. I had a stutter, they said. I needed extra help and had to be separated from other students.

My future was uncertain, but was not looking good.

Unbeknownst to them, I began putting in the effort, the hard work as I had a dream to be seated with the other students and play outside when they played.

I wished to not take anymore sound and language tests while my friends sought adventures on the playgrounds.

No one thought I’d overcome my stutter and no one thought I’d overcome my disability. Left speech by 6th and ended resource by the end of 10th.

I became a top grade student in all my classes. I won the Bennie Cook Memorial Award in 9th grade, an achievement only one student in the entire class body is awarded for achieving all the odds. A glimmering headline from Eleanor Roosevelt reads, “…You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Took the SAT three times and ACT once before reaching an appropriate score card. No one thought I could continue my grade point average while being on the Swimming & Diving Team and Track & Field teams, I did.

No one thought I could get an Advanced Regents Diploma, graduating while getting an 80 or higher on all Regents exams. I passed my Physics Regents with a spot-on 80, every other subject in the 90’s, Math B Regents (a discontinued curriculum due to it’s harsh difficulty) a 93, where most students had failed that year.

No one expected I’d even attempt getting college credit in High School. I took an AP Statistics class in 12th grade, aced that along with getting a 3.0 on the exam.

Uncertain of my future, headed to college with little knowledge of a career. I sought Journalism as a writer’s career. Had some struggles, but many victories in my undergraduate years. Met lifelong friends. Grew more confident. Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.

Struggled four years to get my foot in the Journalism door, however, managed to freelance for several online publications, interviewed a reality TV star, self-published my first novel after I had a creative writing professor in college attempt to squander my literature creativity. Started this blog.

Been scammed, been laid off, been lied to, been deceived, been talked down to, been threatened, been left in the dust to rot.

Went back to school for Social Work, I don’t think you’ll be able to do it, they said. How can you juggle school, internships, two jobs, and family drama at home? I did and I proved all of them wrong.

Is this the right field for you or are you sure this is what you want to do, you know you’re coming from a very different field, they said. “You’re meant to do this,” my field instructor from the School Placement responded after my internship ended.

How are you going to afford it? Took out only FAFSA loans, anything extra, I paid out of pocket in the tenths of thousands of dollars from working. Now paying the remaining loans back.

I graduated with a Masters in Social Work. The Licensed Master Social Worker exam is very hard to pass, they said, I passed.

It’s really difficult to get a job in the field of Social Work, you have to network, they said. Was hired for a part time Social Work Therapist position 8 months after graduation.

You’ll get a job, but it won’t be something you’re going to like when you start, they said. First job I got hired sounds amazing.

I been growing my voice acting profile on the internet and have continued plans in the future for my literary novels.

You can throw me down a ditch and I’ll find a way to climb out. You can try to drown me in the water, but I will swim my way back to the surface. You can punch and kick me to the ground, and I’ll get up. You can block me from achieving my goals, but I will ram you out of the way like bowling pins.

I stopped listening to naysayers a long time ago. I create worlds from pebbles. Like Les Brown has said, “I DON’T QUIT UNTIL I WIN! I DON’T QUIT UNTIL I WIN!” And I suggest you do the same.

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