Four years ago I would have never imagined that I would be applying to law school. I had just turned 17 and was living with my parents. My home life before I came to Seattle and started college was barely tolerable. Many mornings I would wake up to the sound of my step-father’s yelling. He was always yelling. One day he was in a particularly foul mood and, as I was followed his half-spit instructions on how to properly fry eggs, he slammed one in my face and told me that I had three minutes to clean up and go back to cooking. Incidences like this were routine occurrences back then. One day I decided that I was going to take my life into my own hands and run away from home. I was afraid that if I stayed I wouldn’t finish high school or go to college. My nine brothers and sisters never finished college and I was afraid that I would end up like them, with many children, on welfare and without any hope. I grabbed my backpack, walked two miles to the freeway and hitchhiked to Seattle.
I was homeless for a short period of time, but then found out that there were places that helped youth in my situation, such as Seattle Education Access (SEA). I took advantage of that and was off the streets in two weeks. The first thing I did was enroll in Running Start. I was so happy that I finally had the opportunity to go to college! Seattle Education Access helped me while I was in Running Start by helping me with tutors for math and helping me pay for school supplies. Later, when my younger sister came to live with me, SEA helped her too.
If it weren’t for SEA’s timely scholarships, my sister and I would have been out on the streets. They also helped my sister learn how to drive and helped her through school as well. When I need a tutor for my LSATs, they were there. When I got my first apartment, they cosigned for me. When I needed help with my essays to transfer out of community college and into UW, they were there. When I was crying because no matter how hard I worked, no matter how much I did, I was unable to put food on the table and keep a roof over mine and my sister’s head, they were there. Without Seattle Education Access, I wouldn’t be applying to law school and looking forward to graduating with my Bachelor’s degree today. They provided me with the safety net that my family couldn’t provide. My success in school is because of their help and the success I had also inspired my family to go back to school as well.
I later fixed my relationship with my parents. Over the years, they have really improved and are amazing people now who care a lot about my younger brother’s education and spend day and night tutoring him and making sure that he goes to college. Their efforts and the changes they have made have shown me how much people can change. It’s really inspiring to hear them talking about college to my younger brother and encouraging him to go. They are wonderful parents now. My brothers and sisters, over the years, were inspired to go back to school and get an education. My older sister is now almost finished with her associate’s degree!
I now want to devote my life to helping those who have been marginalized and held down by becoming an international human rights attorney. In order to learn more about working in the legal field, I worked for a summer at the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Working there showed me what working in a law office was like and reinforced my determination to finish school and work as an attorney. I also worked for the Washington State Senate as an intern. The work I did there (research on issues and bills) reinforced my desire to get a legal education. Every step of the way, Seattle Education Access provided me with the support I needed.
I was recently accepted as a full-time JD student at the University of the District of Columbia-David A. Clarke School of Law and was offered a merit scholarship. I am moving to Washington DC at the end of July. Classes start August 8th. At this school I will get the education I need to follow my dream of becoming an international human rights attorney. Thanks to the support I received at SEA, I was able to have the opportunity to fulfill my dream.
Donating to this organization changes lives. I have never seen or heard of an organization that makes an impact in the lives of those it serves locally like Seattle Education Access. If you want to donate money to an organization that uses its dollars wisely to ensure that the underserved have a fighting chance in achieving higher education, then please donate to Seattle Education Access today. A few dollars can change the life of one person and everyone around that person, as it did me.