Let’s take a look at the demographics of my life and what that means, or meant, for me. I was born to a teen mother; I lost my dad, which left me to be raised by a single mother; I’m Dominican and Puerto Rican; and I’m a female. If we take these four general parts of who I “am”, we begin to realize that there were many pre-determined plans on the day I was born for who I would become due to my uncontrollable circumstances.
The superior part of society, in terms of success based on social status, doesn’t share these four qualities with me.
An article done by The Urban Child Institute, titled “How Adolescent Parenting Affects Children, Families, and Communities” states that “teen parenting is likely to hinder a child’s social and emotional wellbeing.” This claim can mean a multitude of things for the child’s future.
Ultimately, children born to teen parents will allegedly struggle to be as successful as other children. Many people agree with this claim due to the difficulty of raising a child and the stress this puts on teen parents. It’s predicted that children born to teen parents will have a harder time getting good grades in school. If this is how children begin their school life, by the time they get to high school, it’s hard to finish the race. With a lack of proper parental support, students may drop out and fail to receive their diploma, which sets them back even farther, making it nearly impossible in today’s economy to have a stable career and maintain a good lifestyle. This should have been me, I mean according to what the article says, right?
Despite age, being a single parent is extremely hard for anyone. Never mind a teen mom. This just makes things even more complicated, doesn’t it?
It’s been made clear throughout America’s history that females and Hispanics are two minority groups in society. When we put those two together, an even deeper disadvantage is placed. Females are still fighting today to have equal pay and to be equally respected in American culture. Hispanics are constantly having to work extremely hard to have a respected place in society. It’s another “American Dream” when someone of Hispanic descent makes it “big” in American society, because it’s out of societal norms. The fact that we may very well soon have a female president is another piece of big news because society isn’t used to a woman leading them. A hispanic female shouldn’t be close to the top.
After looking at these areas of my life, society says I shouldn’t be where I am today.
I recently got life changing news. I found out that I had received a scholarship that covers full tuition for all four years of college. I had no idea how I would have paid for school if I didn’t get this scholarship. When I got the news, someone really close to me said “Do you know what this means? You’ve defied every single statistic that was set on you.” In complete shock, that’s when it all hit me. I really wasn’t set up to succeed, I was destined to live a life of struggles, but I didn’t settle for what society had paved out for my life.
After eighteen years of life, I’ve come to realize that there is no perfect home, family or life. Hardships are promised to everyone despite their age, gender, or family circumstances. Sure, things might have been easier for me if my cards were dealt differently. But these are the cards I got, and at a young age, I realized I had no option but to make it all work.
What’s my “secret”? What sets me apart from, or makes me like, others who have had these statistics placed on their lives?
My answer is simple: God. Yes, me and my mom have worked extremely hard to get me where I am today. But what I have actually come to realize is He is actually the one who defied the statistics, not me.