2016 Essay Competition - View all entries

I Am Who I Choose to Be

Meagan Launius - Hot Springs, AR, United States

As millions of others, I'm from a broken family and I'm now blended into a new family. My self-esteem has been nourished through love of my new family, accomplishments academically as well as athletically. I have been mentored in my life by my father, step-mother, grandparents, coaches and teachers. I've taken this mentorship and I've passed it down to female athletes and I've done this through a compassionate, tolerant and loving heart. This is who I am now.

My defining moment in my life was when I first had my heart broken in a relationship. I had changed my path, self-esteem, goals and values to meet that person's expectations. I was only 15 and I had no wisdom to rely on during this time. I had turned away from my family, coaches, teachers and friends to give this one person all I had and that which I gave him was not me. He took it as he needed it and once he did not need me, then he left.

After my break-up, I was destroyed. My self-esteem was low, my interest in athletics suffered as did my grades. However, with his absence, I could start to see the person I lost and it was me. As the clouds passed, my true self shined down upon me once again.

I begin to collect myself back to the student athlete I once was and I accomplished this through all those who I pushed away. My isolation faded away and I felt the need to be part of those who loved me the most.

As a young lady approaching 18 years of age with college on the horizon, I am so much wiser, prouder and eager to move into the next phase of my life. Frankly, my cross country team was a large part of my revival to myself and I owe them greatly. I will certainly share this store with those I love in the future because triumph can only be if failure exists first.

While I enter the next chapter of my life in college, I know I will learn new perspectives that will only increase the breadth of my tolerance and understanding of others. I will absorb all opinions of many and discern myself to come to open conclusions about what is right and what is wrong. I intend to fight for others who cannot fight for themselves through advocacy in regards to the protection of children and women along with the rights of both.

As I grow in age as well as wisdom, I know there will be growth in those of need and I only hope I can reach the vast majority of those in needs in my position and command in life. Any assistance financially will help me achieve this dream and the less I am saddled with student debt the more resources I will have to dedicate to such a cause so I appreciate the opportunity to apply for help and I look forward to hopefully accepting any assistance with open arms and mind.

I plan to major in pre-law and eventually attend law school to hopefully one day start my own nonprofit for defenseless women and children needing representation in the court system. I want to be their advocate and make them who they truly are in life.