When I was growing up things at home were not easy. We had to fight to make ends meet and often moved from place to place. Although I experienced homelessness, drug raids, and hunger, the hardest part of my childhood was not having a connection to my father. When I finally met him after 17 years I learned he’d suffered a devastating brain injury in a car accident. Realizing I had missed the chance to know who he really was tore me apart.
The one thing that has always taken me away from the sadness and chaos in my life is basketball. The competition and connection to teammates has been my escape. When playing basketball I don’t have to think about the drama in my life.
I’m lucky to be a student athlete at RIT. In my classes, campus jobs, fraternity, and especially the Athletic department I’ve found people who care about me. Getting support and different perspectives on life has helped me see what the future can hold. I have realized that I can’t change what has happened to me but I can change the way I think about it, and that’s made all the difference.
Struggles are what make our journey through life worth taking. Without them it’s easy to become complacent. I know that overcoming hardships has made me stronger, smarter, and more resilient.