A Legacy of Sacrifice and Resilience: Destiny

Written by Payal

June 6, 2023

Scholarship Winner: Destiny

Destiny is one of the first winners of the Hearts on Sleeves, Minds in College Scholarship, awarded on May 15, 2023. Read on to read Destiny’s application essay and be sure to visit the scholarship fund page to contribute to helping students like Destiny achieve their dreams.

The Challenging Beginnings of My Mother and Grandmother

My mother came from a poor household with four other siblings, and two parents who were still kids themselves. In her junior year of high school, at the age of seventeen, her childhood was cut short when she became an unexpected teen mother, taking care of me by herself until she met my father when I was three years old. Both my mother and grandmother had shorter childhoods than expected because of their new responsibilities as a mom. My mother takes a lot of attributes from my grandmother, as I do from her. My grandmother was born in 1969, became pregnant at fifteen, and became a mother at sixteen, she continued to have her fifth child at the age of 25. Both my mother and grandmother sacrificed so much in their lives to provide for the ones they loved. They ensured, no matter the situation, their households’ were fed each night, and clothes were on their family’s backs.

The Cycle of Sacrifice and Responsibility

My grandmother is slowly losing her ability to walk on her own due to the sacrifices made for her children. My mother took on the role of being there and caring for her until she moved to Pennsylvania with my Grandfather, where she is now. My mother has learned to make the same sacrifices as her mother did to support their family. Many times my mother had to be the breadwinner of the family when my father struggled to keep his job. Despite going through family mental and physical strife and loss. My mother pursued her college career and she eventually graduated in 2016.

Inspiration for the Future

Both my mom and grandmother have inspired made me to look forward to being a mother and having a child of my own and to be okay with making sacrifices. Sleeping fewer hours to get enough money so I can buy what they want for Christmas or so they can do school sports. So they can enjoy a life better than mine had as my parents tried to do for me. My mother was able to do so much while having a child, while being a child herself, just like my grandmother. I am confident I’m able to do the same with any opportunity that comes my way.

Mental Health Challenges and Trauma Triggers

During COVID-19 my family life became very stressful, uncomfortable, and felt at times unsafe. It escalated to the point of trauma triggers that result in hard-to-manage panics. I developed depression, anxiety, and trauma from harsh school to intense family situations. I was in a weakened state of mind where I felt like doing nothing as if I was trapped in a non-stop cycle with every day being the same. It was a rough period for many my age, a brutish year for the world. I was lucky enough to have a school that allowed few students to come back with many health precautions within classrooms. It allowed me to feel better as I got to see my classmates and a few friends. I was able to create long-lasting relationships to help soothe my depression and anxiety. I will never be able to get over my trauma triggers, as they still happen, but it is easier to put my dark thoughts at bay because of my relationships. Watching my mother overcome her difficulties as I overcome mine, is inspiring. After going through what felt like agony, I’m very hopeful and happy for my future and where I’m going.

Continuing the Journey: Contribute to Future Scholarships

Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit about Destiny’s story. Be sure to read about Ann-Marie’s story from last week! The next scholarship will be awarded in the Fall, please contribute to allow us to award as many students as possible!

If you’re here, and you’re considering how I might be able to support you, why not schedule a call with me? It’s free. There’s absolutely no pressure to buy anything – it’s just two people having a chat and seeing where it could go from there.


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