There are so many things about me that make me an anomaly. That fact that I went to college and grad school makes me an anomaly. It was made clear to me that foster kids are difficult and live difficult lives. In elementary school, middle school, and high school up until the 10th grade I was in special education classes and labeled learning disabled. I also was labeled as a behavior problem. I got into many fights growing up. For some reason I believed I was going to college. I thought that it was an automatic. I had no idea that my behavior and my 1.67 overall gpa had any connection to me going to college. No one ever talked to me about college at all. I remember my guidance counselor telling my adopted mother that I must be her greatest disappointment. My adopted mother was very angry by this comment and waisted no time or breath letting my guidance counselor know she was out of line.
In my English class we all had to do weekly book reports that we had to present orally to the teacher one on one at her desk. Every week I would do the minimum number of pages to get a C because that was a passing grade. The teacher would rave about how great my report was and how well I was doing. One day I listened in on another student giving her report. She always did extra and got A+ on her report. This week this student wrote only enough pages to earn a B for a grade. The teacher was upset and really began lecturing her about how a B was not good enough, and how she expected more. The comment that stood out was the teacher saying that this student needs to keep her grades up to get into college. I thought, wow, she never mentioned college to me, she always said my C was great. I wanted to know why. I asked the teacher straight up why the difference. The teacher was honest with me and she said "Bella is going to college and you are not". She said that I should focus on getting out of high school without getting pregnant, or stds, or using drugs and then try to get a job. I was shocked! I was determined to prove her wrong. I was determined to get into college. I went to my guidance counselor to find out what I needed to do. My guidance counselor told me the teacher was right. The guidance counselor told me that with my grades and my record of suspensions for fighting there is no way I was going to college. I was in shock!
Spirit moves in mysterious ways. There were flyers all around the school about a program called Step to College. It was a college course that if you took it and passed you were guaranteed entry into San Francisco State University. When I saw that flyer I knew I needed this program. I enrolled and every Thursday after school I was in that class. I completed it with a passing grade of a C. Because of that program I went to college and grad school. So many people gave up on me because of being a foster child. They felt they knew what was possible for me. I knew what I wanted for my life but I had no real idea what it took to get it. No one showed me what was needed because no one ever asked me what I wanted.
I am an anomaly. I am smart and capable of anything I want to achieve.
Please do leave a comment below if you have ever had to rise above the low expectations of those that were supposed to be encouraging you. Also please do share this blog post with everyone you know because you never know who might need this message.