Select Page

Perseverance is personal for me. This value of sacrifice and hard work is one I have lived at every stage of my life, from my premature birth as a one-and-a-half pound baby to my upcoming high school graduation and matriculation to an Ivy League university. This value has shaped who I have become and influences who I want myself and others to be.

My father is one of many people who have modeled perseverance for me. Watching him work long hours along with my mother to run a small neighborhood deli in North Minneapolis has proved to me that success doesn’t just happen. I know firsthand the time and energy it takes. I worked many weekend shifts along with my parents to help the business. As the poem “You Mustn’t Quit” says,

“Stick to your task, though the pace seems slow—

You may succeed with one more blow.”

I see my dream to play football for an Ivy League school becoming a reality, but it has not been without years of sacrifice and hard work. Perseverance meant that I had to focus on my education first, football second. My 3.7 grade point average and induction into the National Honor Society are two signs that anything is possible with determination and a solid education.

Knowing the hard work I have put in to reach this point in my life only makes me appreciate even more the sacrifice others have made to help me succeed. I am grateful for the scholarship from Minneapolis NEXT, which has enabled me to pursue my dream, and I hope one day to inspire someone else to have a similar drive and determination.

-J.T.

NEXT Scholar