"Why I Want To Go To College"
My name is Marlene Uziya Rashidi, I was born during war in Democratic Republic Of Congo. I grew up in different refugees camps. I woke up in poverty and slept in poverty. The sound of my parents arguing about how to provide a better future for my siblings and I was like a daily theme song. I’ve never had much growing up, I’ve never experienced “rich” yet I guess that’s why I am never greedy. Imagine walking to school on the thorny and rocky Zimbabwean streets with barely any shoes on and getting late because the school is miles away from home, then you get beaten because you were late. Imagine getting whipped with a fresh slick just for not knowing the right answer to a question. I lived a life where my intelligence was being killed slowly, I lived a hopeless life before and I don’t want that anymore. I just wanted to be educated and not discouraged in life. In Tongogara a little refugee camp in Zimbabwe was where my family last landed before coming here to America. I still have those dark souvenirs that my memories gave me to keep, like the time when the whole village was flooded and the UNICEF didn’t come to rescue us like they rarely did. We had to start over at a place where we just got welcomed at. Everyday we lived with no electricity nor close by water, in fetching for water we had to walk miles and miles away to the well. My parents would always wake up 4am in the morning going to work at a farm and at that time in Africa is it usually hot. My big brother and I would join them later after coming back from school. On saturdays my family had prayer sessions, I would always get on my knees and pray as hard as I can for God to make all the sufferings to go away and to give us a bright life and to stop war at every corner of the world. I want to go to college so that I can give my parents the life they tried giving me all their lives, and to prove that dreamers who grew up surrounded with hopelessness can achieve in life.
At the age of 12, I lost my little brother Alvis Rashidi due to tuberculosis. I think that’s the one of most difficult experience I’ve ever had in my life. Alvis was like a sample of an angel sent to us, he had a character that was purer than a virgin. He was smart and has never went to school, he taught me what humble means. Even if he was only 8 years old when he past away, he was so wise that people older than him looked up to him. The doctors told my father that the only way they could give him greater treatment was for my parents to pay an amount of money, as refugees; money was something we didn’t have. As tuberculosis was eating up his guts, my whole family was out in the streets selling cassava leaves, maize, and spices we got from the farm. We went back to the hospital with all we had and told the doctor to help him and we can pay later, I’ll always remember how the doctor looked at my father and mother then said, “Pay full amount, or he dies. It’s not like he’s the first one to die here.” With every muscle I was left with in my body, with my blood boiling, I built resentment in me to the point where it left me weak to even clout the doctor right in his face or to scream on top of my lungs, I just stood there with tears falling off of my eyes in harmony like a river. We got him out of that hospital and took him home, treated him with homemade remedies. I witnessed my own brother dying slowly right in front of me, he got so boney, I’d always carry his skeletons to his homemade wood bed that always welcomed him at the end of the day. September 28, 2008 was the day I lost what I loved the most. Alvis was pronounced dead around noon, I was at church at that time. I was at church praying for him, praying so hard that people thought I was going crazy. I never got to say goodbye to him, I never got to say I love him, I never got to tell him I’ll keep his promise we made; that I’ll make sure I give mom and dad a successful life. Alvis was very smart, but never went to school because tuberculosis invaded his body ever since he was 6 years old.
When we left Zimbabwe to come to the United States, I pictured Alvis sitting next to me, because I knew if he was in the United States, we would be provided with greater medical treatment. I get by day by day thinking of him as I write poetry. I found myself in love with poetry after I lost my little brother, because with poetry I can write about how I really feel, what’s eating me up inside and what’s making my happy. I wrote over twenty poems about him, and that’s how my heart started getting healed step by step. Poetry led me to write for my school's newspaper and now I'm Manager Editor In Chief. I want to go to college so that I can show Alvis that he gave me hope and that the promise we made was in process of getting accomplished. I want to be the first one in my family to go to college, and getting this scholarship will make that possible. My dad once told me that he wanted to become a Lawyer, but war came to his homeland before he could earn a degree in college. I want to go to college and major in Law, because I want to prove to my dad that dreams just perish. My mom once told me that she wishes she could be a fashion designer before of the love she has for fashion, but woman in her village weren't allowed to go to school. I want to go to college and show her that a woman is getting her career in Law accomplished and that woman is her daughter. My late brother once told me he wanted to became a great doctor so he can help people, but death swept him off of his foot before he could even step foot in school. I want to go to college and make him proud, because he gave me hope. My role models are my parents, all their lives they have been trying to give my siblings and I a better life. They are warriors who fight day and night to make sure their kids have a roof underneath them, food on the table, and clothes on their backs. Even if they never finished school and don’t have the life they’ve always dreamed off, they are still my role models who encourage me to finish school and be something great. What I have learned throughout the rest of the 18years I’ve lived in this world is that I am stronger than I think I am.
I can achieve far better than what others expect me to. I am cut off from a strong gene, I’ve learned that dreaming without giving up is my strength and that’s what I do as a teenager. My main weakness that I have discovered in me is that I am impatient, more like eager. I get so caught up in this fantasy that things have to happen at this time and not realizing that things take time. Ever since I found out that I’m an impatient person I’ve learned to accept the slow adjustments in circumstances and that patience is a good character to have in life. I am a Link Crew at my school and that means, a person who is a leader and leads freshmen on their first days of school. As a Link Crew, I go to freshmen advisory classes twice a month and teach them about the knowledge that I already know as an upperclassman. Most of these freshmen till now, they come to me for answers, they look up to mean for advices. I love Link Crew because I love helping people, I love being a leader and giving advices. I remember when I was a junior in highschool, I hear about writing for the school Newspaper/Yearbook and I was interested because I love writing. I started out weak, I didn’t know how things operated in the advocate room. Step by step, I worked hard to meet the deadlines and make sure I didn’t make any sort of mistake in my writings and I gave advices to the newbies in class who struggled just like men when I started. I’m in my senior year now, and I am still in the Newspaper/Yearbook program for my school, but now I’m the Manager Editor In Chief. With all the work that I put in, the effort and dedication, I found myself as the Manager Editor In Chief and I am proud of myself. I just want to bring change and give hope to the hopeless. I love Law and it would mean the world to me knowing that I'm giving justice to those who deserve it. Hopefully as a Lawyer I want to work my way up to be a Judge. I used to dream a dream within a dream, seeing it come to reality would be a miracle. I want to go to college because is I never thought I'd ever step foot in college with the financial issues that my parents are facing now, but this site gives me hope and a chance. If I get any funds to go to college, I will do goods with it, and help the world, because I was born to do so.