2000-04-01 / Columnists

From the Shores of


Beach Channel High School

The following is an excerpt from the essay written by Steven Rocker for which he won The New York Times Scholarship. Steven has also won scholarships from the Children's Defense Fund and the Harlem YMCA award.

"When you are choosing the person that has inspired you the most to succeed academically, this may be an arduous task. There is always one person that sticks out in your mind, that go above and beyond your expectations. That person should not only lead by lectures, but in deeds.

While I thought of who I should write about, my mom was the first thing that came to my mind. She is truly an inspiring woman. She would rather see her children content with nice things than buy herself anything. When I was younger she frequently saved my life. I was born with a hole in my heart, and used to have seizures sporadically. One time she ran almost half a mile getting me to the hospital, to save my life. The doctor said that if she did not get me there when she did, I would have died. I remember also that I needed $100 for an SAT course, and she sold the only ring she had to make sure that I had the money. I really appreciate the sacrifices she had made for the things that I really needed. She is a mother and a father simultaneously, but never quite lost the bond of motherhood that she so eloquently possessed. Although she is a woman, she taught me to be a promising man.

The way in which she brought me up has made me who I am. She taught me how to study, and be a productive member of society. She took out time to teach me some of the simplest things, which I pass on to my youngest siblings. The patience, demeanor, elegance, and sheer brilliance of my mother is unsurpassed by any other person I have ever encountered. When I think of the things that she has done for me, and the magnitude of her determination, it inundates me with inspiration. I yearn for the day when I graduate college and she will quote Matthew 3:17, 'This is my son, who I love; with him I am well pleased!' "

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