Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

My education and life at home have been a crazy experience. When I was thirteen my biological mother didn’t want me in her life anymore because there was abuse. My mom was never present in my life; I was home alone all the time. The house had to be clean and if there was a spec of dust she would scream, hit, and call me names. Eventually, I couldn’t stay there anymore, and she didn’t want me there. She told me to get out of her house. I had to move in with my alcoholic father whom I wasn’t fond of. His home was equally bad, but my stepmom made it better. She was kind, a true mom, and became my best friend. When my father was home, there were punishments, verbal abuse, and lots of financial debt. His drinking made us live in hell. We never knew where the next money would come from. We had to sell clothes and could never have nice stuff. He lied and would hide his beer, his affairs, and money he had borrowed.
No one at school knew my situation. I behaved normally and coming to school was an escape and something that I enjoyed. I could be myself and focus on math, science, and the work.
I volunteer at the Humane Society because dogs there are neglected and I can relate. I want to give them love. My job is to socialize them, bring them back to a world where they don’t have to fight for their survival. Some of them are abused or were fighting dogs. My job is to slowly introduce myself and get to the point where I can pet them and they can be sociable enough to be adopted. I volunteer at my church also. I serve at the nursery, taking care of babies and two-year-olds. This brings me joy; their mentality is innocent and I like seeing them play with toys.

Emily from Texas
College Sophomore
Valle verde early college high school