By Jasmine Roman — Throughout my life, I have always been in motion – from place to place, from apartment to apartment, from shelter to shelter, to finally a decent home where I currently live. In order for me to survive, I had to get used to letting go of the past and adapting to the “now.”

The situation was all the more challenging because my mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was suffering from it. That explains why we didn’t understand her erratic behavior. Because of this, my brothers and I grew up raising ourselves. My mother was never there to guide us, to tell us right from wrong. It was hard for me because I felt like a lost duckling who was neglected by her. However, I know deep down that she did the best she could do for us. This is why everything I had to endure — all the hardships – makes me want to go to college. I want to be the unique one in my family. I want to break that “norm” that college isn’t traditional in my family. Among my older siblings, I will be the first one to attend college and that truly fills me up with glee knowing I can make a significant difference within my family.

Despite all of my challenges, I was determined to persevere. I had an epiphany because I figured that to achieve greatness, you must keep going on no matter how hard it gets. At times, I have to remind myself to stay optimistic about everything. Now, my studies are all that matter to me. I can’t give up even if I wanted too. I won’t let myself. I want to change the trajectory of my family’s future, and I’m confident that I will soon.  

Emma Kohut gives us more insight into Jasmine in her article “To Be or Not To Be…Different.”

And, you can check out this trailer for the documentary “The Overcomers” that feature’s Jasmine’s success story, as well.