''Difficulty need not foreshadow despair or defeat. Rather achievement can be all the more satisfying because of obstacles surmounted.''
"Yami! Have you applied for LEAP yet?!?! I'm sure you can get a scholarship!" were the endless text messages, along with voice mails I repeatedly received from my friend, Gabriela, when she wanted me to attend the LEAP Program. Time and again, I ignored her constant texts and calls, other times I tried to abstain from speaking about it. However, I would eventually have to face it. "Gaby, there's no way I'll be able to afford it", was my blunt and discouraged answer. She simply said, "Yami, apply".
After two weeks of ample consideration, I established that I had nothing to lose by applying to LEAP. So I mailed in my application along with my financial aid documents and personal statement, and hoped for the best. On April 26, 2009, I enthusiastically received my acceptance letter with a full scholarship. In just a few months I would be off to California to become part of The LEAP Foundation experience, a program that was founded by Dr.Bill Dorfman and Steve Anderson. A one week session that holds exciting seminars, influential workshops and inspiring guest speakers whose main goal is to guide high school and college students (or young adults?) in new directions by exposing them to skills that are never taught explicitly in a formal education setting.
I committed myself to reading more about LEAP, and the more I read, the more my excitement multiplied. Just a week away, and I was already packing for this new adventure I was ready to embark in. After my first day of LEAP was over, I returned to my dorm overjoyed and happier than ever. I sat near my window, pondering and looking at the endless stars above me, and at that precise moment I began to grasp the importance and significance this week would create in my life. This was the turning point I had been waiting for so long. LEAP provided me with all the tools, skills, aspiration and motivation needed to become successful, everything else was up to me.
College applications were impatiently waiting for me around the corner, and I knew LEAP had come to my aid at the appropriate time. The though of sending college applications once again terrified me, it was like a nightmare I could not wake up from. I realized fear and anxiety had been the reason why I kept running away from applications, but I took everything LEAP taught me and decided to dream big because I knew that anything my mind could conceive and believe, I could achieve. So, I put my heart and soul in applying to colleges. I realized that like Candide once said, "troubles are just the shadows in a beautiful picture". I decided I would take control of my life and removed the shadows from my picture, and it was not long before a clear image of what I wanted came to me. Each day my dreams become clearer to me.
The deadlines for my applications arrived anxiously, and I was prepared. I was no longer fearful because I knew that opportunities are often disguised as hard work so that most people don't recognize them. LEAP helps me overcome everyday troubles, whether at home, school, work or with my friends. I have taught myself to see the opportunity in every difficulty. Occasionally, Napoleon Hill's quote comes to mind and reminds me that, "The world has a habit of making room for those whose words and actions show that they know where they are going".
what do you guys think?