MEET STEPHANIE ROSA
Growing up in the Bronx, in poverty was one of the toughest experiences of my life. I was surrounded by crime and poverty, and it seemed like there was no way out. I felt lost and out of place in the world, like I didn't belong.
At that time, I didn't have any role models who looked like me on TV or in the media. This made it even harder for me to envision a successful future for myself. I often felt hopeless and believed that I was destined to live the same life of poverty and struggle as those around me.
I worked multiple jobs to try and make ends meet, but it never seemed to be enough. Despite my best efforts, I became homeless and was unable to access higher education. This was a devastating time in my life, and I felt like giving up on my dreams.
However, I knew deep down that I couldn't let my circumstances define me. I found the strength to persevere and fought for a better life for myself. It wasn't easy, but I eventually got back on my feet and was able to pursue higher education.
Looking back, I now understand that my experiences growing up in poverty in the Bronx have made me the person I am today. They have given me a unique perspective and the drive to succeed, and I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way.
I hope my story will inspire others who may be facing similar challenges, to never give up on their dreams. No matter where you come from or what your circumstances may be, it is possible to achieve success and live the life you have always dreamed of.
Photo by Carly Tyce