"Continued Growth" – AP

I am from Southeast, D.C. I am 14 years old.

My 8th grade experience was pretty ok, I guess. I’ve been going to the same school since the 1st grade. Excel is actually where I met my best friend, Michelle and my other friends. All through elementary school, I have been getting amazing grades until I got into the 7th grade. In 7th grade, I got C’s and D’s. The only way I passed to the next grade was because of the school policy to not retain students. Then, in the 8th grade I surprisingly got good grades. I was so happy because I kept doubting myself and was saying things like “I won’t make it to the next grade.” Now that I am in the 8th grade, I have so many responsibilities for not only this year but also for high school. I had so many obligations to secure my spot into my high school choice.

On March 31st, I got into the Richard Wright High School. So now that I got into my top high school choice, I just have to keep my grades up. For a person like me, that’s kind of hard. I often lose focus on the things that are most important because I start thinking about my personal life. I have a strong family support system but I always felt like I was missing something. I always felt like I didn’t know my whole story because my father isn’t in my life. Imagine not having a father to encourage you to do your best. Imagine that father's day is coming up and everyone else is writing cards for their father, who do I write to? No one. Imagine crying your eyes out almost every day trying to figure out if he loves you or not, or if he knows you even exist. Don't get me wrong, I love my mother but every daughter needs a father. Sometimes I wonder if my life would be any different if my father was in it.

A quote that has kept me going is one by Arthur Ashe in which he said, “Failure keeps you humble, success keeps you glowing, but only faith keeps you going.”  I picked this quote because I always thought of myself as a failure but this quote encourages me to believe otherwise. One piece of advice I wish I had prior to my 8th grade year was to not procrastinate and to not get into a lot of trouble. In order to be successful, you cannot wait until the last minute to turn in your work. As far as the getting in trouble advice, I don't get into a lot of trouble. It's just that all through elementary school, I've been suspended for fighting. My 7th and 8th grade years were the first years of my academic career when I wasn’t suspended. I think I’ve progressed and changed for the better over the years and I look forward to the continued growth.

– AP