Growing up, bouncing from one unstable home to the next, I learned three truths:
I was shameless: I lacked respect for others
I was scrappy: I used my circumstances to get my way
I wasn't worth the effort.
When I was 15, I met the Brackens, a family that saw through my brashness and found the underlying honesty and gentleness. They took a chance on me, welcomed me into their home, and adopted me, when no one else would.
I then met the Greens, a family that knew my scrappiness belied a perseverance that could lead to success. They too, took a chance on me, gave me a job at their company, funded my education, and pushed me to set goals I had never before imagined.
These families gave me three truths to carry forward:
I am without shame: I care more about championing my beliefs than social acceptance
I am scrappy: I have an unwavering resolve to make a difference
Everyone is worth the effort.
With my life, I will pay forward the transformational investment made in me. I will invest in people who are too disillusioned to invest in themselves. I will show them they are worth it.