School: Tallahassee Community College
I grew up in Lakeland, Florida in a house devoted to our Christian faith. When I was young, my family and I went through many hardships. By the age of seven I lost my father to cancer. As a child it was hard to watch my dad suffer through the agonizing effects of his illness. At the time, I was so young and oblivious I hadn’t really grasped the full impact of what was happening. Then the realization dawned on me; I would be facing a future that did not include my dad. I suffered from many panic attacks and hard nights as I faced this difficult truth. But my faith stayed me.
I grew up constantly reciting and believing Psalms 143:8, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” I took solace in knowing that I had a heavenly Father who loved and adored me. Those moments still come and seem overwhelming, that’s when I fall to my knees and proclaim, “Lord, I cannot go on and do this without You! Please give me Your peace about my future because You hold it in your hands. Please give me faith and trust in You when I feel weak and orphaned.”
After my dad passed, my family was very poor and my mom was now a single working mother of three young children. As I grew from childhood into a teenager, I began to appreciate the value of working hard and the ability to seek the Lord in times of trouble. My mother was an amazing example; she worked hard to provide a normal lifestyle for her three kids. I watched her rely on God’s promises to provide and take care of our family. Through all of those emotions, my family remained as strong as ever. My brothers and I grew up to be servants, leaders, and givers in our community. God has provided for the three of us and SSF has been a huge part of that provision and I have loved every minute of being a part of it!.
As I look back at the situation and those hardships, I realize they built in me a sympathy and understanding for those who are sick, for friends and family who are terminally ill, and for those who have had to deal with the loss of a loved one. The experience also taught me to be selfless and value all relationships, because our time on earth is fleeting.