Manchester = My Ambition | Teen Ink

Manchester = My Ambition

November 19, 2007
By Anonymous

“Wait, I don’t understand, can you go over that again?” One of my classmates shouts out after returning from her reverie. This is what I hear as I sit in the back of my freshman Algebra I class, about to learn the same thing all over again. I look around and see half the class gossiping while the other half is drooling on their desks. All of a sudden some kid lets out a loud belch and the whole class erupts in laughter…everyone but me. My teacher and I share an exasperated sigh and I once again ask myself, “Why am I here?”

Manchester is known for its student’s lack of ambition. For more than half of my life I have been brainwashed into accepting that I was supposedly “inadequate” to become one of the great ones. I felt no encouragement to actually better myself. It was not until high school that I was convinced that I was to become greater than the average Manchester student, greater than what my parents have become, and greater than what others told me was impossible. This was not just a dream for me, it was an obsession and I was willing to fight every step of the way. I will die before I allow the limitations of my environment destroy my soul.

I became academically independent as early as the 4th grade. I realized it was pointless to depend on my mother; with a brother who had a learning disability, and a sister who also struggled occasionally with school work, it did not leave my mother much time to help with the youngest child who was doing “just fine” in school. I still made honor roll even without my mother’s help. I determined that I was better off as my own mentor. Since that time in my life, there has been a spark of newfound pride which is reflected in my work which grows stronger each day. Yet at that age this pride could not always stand up to those teachers who did not fully believe in my potential. I thank my algebra teacher who noticed something different about me, along with the few teachers who actually care about their student’s future.

My experience in Manchester ironically helped me to strive for more. It has created my independence and molded my confidence. Sitting in that freshman Algebra I class helped me realize that no statistics or placement scores can determine one’s true potential. Some students believe they are predestined to become average. I refuse this destination and I intend to choose my own path. My dream is for this world to be mine. When I hear someone telling me that I cannot, then I laugh at their ignorance. As the great Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” My ambition has grown to a powerful force, strengthened by the discouraging words of disbelievers and has shined with the beauty of confidence. It shines through my eyes, through my aura, the way I walk, the way I talk, and it shines though with the knowledge that following the norm of ordinary graduates is not my fate. I am Ashley Dunbar and I am a high school student. I represent the small percentage of students who wish to obtain more. I am speaking to you with confidence that has survived many emotional adversities and a determination that no one is able to penetrate. I will become great, a destination I have chosen from birth. And that is why I want to go to college.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Feb. 6 2009 at 11:07 am
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