Tell us your inspirational story about how you overcame adversity to achieve a specific goal or dream.

When I was little, sometime before kindergarten, I had trouble with numbers. I was learning my numbers and had managed to learn to eleven. I would constantly count to eleven and then stop. I had no idea what came next. It was frustrating to keep counting to the same number and not being able to go any further. Almost like I just kept running and hitting the same wall, a rubber wall that would bounce me back. My parents would laugh some, because they did not want me to get so frustrated by something so small. It was small to them, but to me it was a big deal. I could not tell you why, but I had to figure out how to count higher than that. So, every time I would count to eleven and stop, if I waited long enough my parents would remind me of twelve. Then I would try again later and I would have already forgotten twelve. Once more, I would find myself stumped about the number that came after eleven. But I did not stop trying. That refusal to quit, that idea that I could not give up on twelve and all the numbers after is the work I put in to get ahead. I eventually learned my numbers, understanding the patterns that they form and how they come together. And in kindergarten I showed my teacher that I knew all my numbers one to a hundred. Which, may no seem like the biggest deal but it was to me, my parents, and my teachers. They were so impressed saying that I already knew what they were going to teach me that I needed to learn more. And so I was put in higher level math classes. I learned things sooner, like greater and less than and numbers past a hundred. We had these scroll like papers that we filled with numbers and that was my favorite part. I kept filling it and filling it with more numbers. Then in second grade I declared that I was going to be an engineer. I would invent things that people could use. They told me I needed to be good at math and I smiled to myself because I was good at math. I had put myself ahead. Now, I teach kids to understand math and numbers.

Aubrey from South Carolina
High School Senior
Goose Creek High School

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