The sky turned gray and the birds flew everywhere in the sky. The animals ran back and forth without direction and people stood crying where their homes had collapsed. Luckily for me, I was at home lying in bed watching television. On television I saw people without legs, hands, and heads; I also saw a lot of corpses. My house had two stories and the second floor fell on top of the first floor. I will never forget that day; my life was in ruins.
I slept on the street for over a week without food or water. I wasn’t able to locate my family, except for my two cousins. Five weeks after the earthquake, we moved to a different city where all of my family was. It was a miracle we found them still alive. I started living with them, and I played on the street with kids that had never been to school. They tried to convince me not to attend school, but I always said to them, “School is the key for me to succeed. One day I will come back to help all the children living on the street without parents.” I wanted to become an architect so that I could help rebuild Haiti by designing houses and teaching others how to build houses that would stay strong if an earthquake happened in the future.
In Haiti I had limited opportunities and resources. There were so many challenges, economically, academically, and emotionally that I never thought of attending college; now I plan to be the first in my family to attend college. It just didn’t seem possible for me even though I was highly motived and worked really hard to succeed in school. One of the biggest challenges I faced was not living with my mom; she always encouraged me to dream. She always said that I should become an architect. I couldn’t live with my mom because of her economic problems. My dad took me away from her because she couldn’t provide for me.
When I moved to the United States three years ago, I lived with my stepfamily. No one in this family gets along with my dad or with me. My stepmom treats me differently from her children. When I received my first honor roll certificate in tenth grade, I was unable to share that accomplishment with my mother, father, or sister. My father couldn’t make it to the assembly because he had just gotten out of the hospital after having an…