“As a child, I was in and out of different homes because of how irresponsible my parents were. It was ridiculous how many times I had to move schools and how socially unstable I was. I felt lonely and as if I was a bother in life. My brothers and I lived in about 5 or 6 different homes because my mother worked a minimum-wage job due to her lack of a high school diploma. She didn’t have enough money to support us, so one day she decided it was best for her to move to Canada and leave us with different family members. I never even had the chance to tell my mom about my first kiss, or to have someone to turn to for advice and protection.

I saw my mother struggle in ways a mother shouldn’t need to. The older I get, the more I have grown to understand the difficulties my mother faced in putting food on the table, paying the bills, and supplying our family with other necessities. I now realize how much I don’t want to live the same life she lived.

I believe my past has shaped me into the person I am today. People might expect me to already have a child, never go to college, and never even make it out of high school. I’m proud to say I turned out to be the total opposite, now about to graduate and attend the University of Arizona! What I want most is to become a pediatrician to help others and to start a family with someone I love. I want to give my children everything I never received.”

Jailene graduated from Desert View High School in the spring of 2017 with a 3.09 GPA and will begin attending the University of Arizona in the fall of 2018. She is the recipient of a Youth On Their Own scholarship to help her continue her studies.

Note: The above text was taken directly from Jailene’s scholarship essay.