My father, looking around through some of the chaos our two-home family had faced, now my single parent, submitted the following as an assessment of me to an English class discussion: Rachael. “R”. Resilient. Like many, and a mostly silent and unheard many, I faced an abuse situation suffered at the hands of a family member, in this case a stepfather. When I found the courage to reveal what had been happening to me, I was unfortunately not met with support, instead, I was faced with finding my belongings on my mother’s driveway, and then, experiencing the devastation of the abandonment and loss of that parent. Despite the child worker interviews, regardless of polygraphs passed, even in the face of pages and diaries of details, I was left to carry this on my own, a heavy unrequited justice. I think the belief at that point was that I would be too damaged, incapable of moving forward. I didn’t ignore the voices, I listened to them, I determined not to let myself become a victim of abuse, even of injustice, but I determined to thrive, to advocate, to show, and allow myself to be fueled toward a higher purpose and seek somehow to help others someday.
Despite the weakness/absence of my mother from 12 years old, I have only fueled a fire in me by persistence. How could I die and not go on, how could my boat sink when I knew somehow, someday there would be others on the other side waiting for what I could humbly bring? There is a burning in me and a strength beneath the surface, and I possess some gold refined in the fire, that pushes me silently and surely. School became part of my everything, it was one of the only things that stayed consistent in my life, the one thing I had control over. This new developed mindset, accompanied with wanting to prove everyone who said I would fail wrong, made me work harder than anyone, this feeling became part of my drive. I didn’t need anyone else but myself to set and accomplish my goals. I never settled for anything less than my absolute best, and this has made itself apparent in my GPA and my work ethic.
I have been fairly independent ever since I lost my mom, I have utilized these circumstances to mature and discover my passions in life. I work two jobs, tutoring for two little girls every weekday and working as a cashier at Scheels, I home-school my little sister, and am a Sunday School teacher at my church. I am passionate about medicine and making a difference as a woman in STEM as a doctor. I will be spending a month living in a refugee camp in Uganda, Africa this summer, serving the underprivileged, which has been a dream of mine that is now transforming into my reality. Without this almost tangible fire that was sparked inside of me, I wouldn’t have such opportunities, work ethic, and most importantly, my resilience.