Close Scholarship Fund Winning Poem for Fall 2012

Topic: Please write a poem, in a style of your choose, on the theme of overcoming a personal challenge.

Anthony Gordon
Arizona State University &
West Los Angeles College


Don't be a afraid, fearful and weak.
Be the last to quit, and the first to speak.
Don't hide yourself from the light of day.
Be brave in life, and remain that way.
No need to run from your struggles or troubles.
Have confidence in yourself.
Don't lie there and die. Get back up.
Hold your head high.
Be wise and courageous.
Bold and brave.
Your life will be worth living.
From your birth to your grave.

Here's an excerpt from Anthony's personal statement.

In order to compete for jobs in today's economy, I realize how important it is to receive a college education . College is an opportunity to learn, grow as an individual and pursue my dreams of going into the medical field. I believe ASU's School of Biological Science is the perfect school that will prepare me for an exciting career in biomedicine. I am very interested in the programs which provide academic preparation to excel in college, research training, opportunities for mentorship, attend seminars, laboratory workshops , tutoring, graduate school guidance, career and academic advisement. Deep in my heart I know that I want to make a positive impact on people's lives by helping those in need. This dream will become a reality once I receive my education.

It has been especially difficult for my parents to pay for my college education full time due to the rising cost of attendance. My family began facing financial difficulties during my freshman year in college. As a result, I had to return to school part time, I transferred from ASU to a community college part time, as well as seek part-time work in order to help my parents. I now manage two part-time jobs while attending college part-time. Despite these setbacks and the sacrifices I have had to make, this has helped me realize what a great privilege it is to be able to attend school at a university full time while staying on course in order to graduate on time. Working and attending college part-time has been difficult, however, it has helped me to become more focused, committed and determined in returning to school full time and being able to graduate.

The short poem I wrote relates to me simply because I have had difficult times throughout my college years. I have left a university to come back home to attend community colleges and to work. Though this may have been discouraging to me, I cannot let this hold me back, and must move on to achieve great things. I have great confidence in myself that I will be able to afford to go back to a university and stay there until I graduate. It's time to get back up and be brave, because like the poem says, I want my life to be worth living from birth to the grave.

What motivates me most is being able to set goals in life and achieve them. My passion for learning, traveling and gaining work experience has enabled me to mature and grow as a person. It is with sincere gratitude that I hope you will please consider my application for this scholarship.