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Leadership-Essay – Strength from Adversity

“I will never forget the date ……; the day when my mom passed away. She had ….., and it was about a week after ……..that she died.

Though my dad would get drunk all the time, after my mom’s death he got a DUI. His drinking and driving didn’t surprise me because he was drunk the whole week before his accident. During that horrible week, my brother and I watched him lie on the floor staring at the ceiling, run into chairs, and leave a trail of food wherever he went. My brother and I couldn’t handle him anymore, so we decided to stay with my cousin for awhile. My cousin, brother, and I had a talk with him, trying to send him to rehab. He said he was going to stop drinking, a claim which I had heard before. He wasn’t willing to go, which lead my cousin to call social services. My father became enraged when the police and a …… assessor came in the middle of the night; my father didn’t want me and my brother to have any contact with the only family we knew. He was controlling us, which caused us to run away. The only question in my head was,  “what it my dad finds us?”; I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew that I would be with my brother. Over a two month period, my brother and I were placed with my cousin, then in a foster house in ……, and now we live with a family friend.


I have always wanted to be a medical doctor and felt compelled to mend lives through medicine. But never has my drive been fiercer than it is now. Before my mother’s death, I only thought I could really make a difference as a doctor, but I now know I can create waves of change with care and understanding. I’ve learned that sometimes the greatest pain is not physical and the greatest anguish can’t be seen. Thus, the greatest medicine can be in the form of care and compassion. My dreams of adding “”M.D.”” to the end of my name mean so much more to me now, and I now see that my responsibilities as a caregiver entail more than just fixing the physical; I am responsible for the emotional needs of others. I want my patients to know that I am not afraid to heal both and I never want anyone I encounter, whether patient or friend or acquaintance, to ever have to feel alone or misunderstood.


Yes, I wish I did not have to say goodbye to my mother so early and I wish that my father did not have to battle his demons, but I have learned invaluable lessons about the human condition. I have learned that no one, not the strongest man or the toughest chick out there, can make it through tough times alone. I have learned that it only takes one friend asking you if you need a ride home or if you just want to talk to make everything just a little bit better. And that ultimately is what I hope to do as …….., M.D.; to make things a little bit better. ”


Student Essay: Published with Permission
Author: S.G. 2047

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