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Poverty: Minimum Wage and Economical Unstable Childhood

College Essay Carlos Urias 9/1/2011 Robert Leighton once stated, “Poverty keeps the vision pure. ” I fully understand and can relate to this quote as it pertains to my life. Exposure to economic difficulties at a young age helped shape the person I would grow up to be. Being economically troubled is an experience that has changed my character and has stimulated the decisions I have made throughout my life. Through the hardships of living an economical unstable childhood I have learned to embrace opportunities, the importance of perseverance, and become a charitable person.

The cause for being at an economic disadvantage can be traced back to when my parents immigrated to the United States. Because my parents were immigrants, they had no documentation and had to work vigorous hours for minimum wage. They moved into California, and this is where I was born. We lived in a poor neighborhood and there was only enough money for the things we needed and not for what we wanted. Rising rent prices and minimum salaries were among the contributing factors that led to my family struggling to stay economically stable.

My parents had to each get multiple jobs to try and make us enough money to proceed on living here. The lack of money resulted in problems at home, work, and the neighborhood. Alongside my family, although just a child, I also suffered the consequences of living in these conditions. Because we were living like this, I witnessed a lot of violence, hate, and many hard times. I understood that we were at a disadvantage and learned from my experiences as I witnessed how my family tried to cope with all the problems.

Although there was not any money to throw around, I learned many valuable lessons from my family, my environment, and the situations we were living in. As a result of having an economically unstable childhood, I have learned to embrace opportunities. When my family and I were living under the economic pressures of California, it was clear to me that we did not have opportunities of any kind open to us. It is because of this that we were living the way we were. As I grew older, I realized that there were so many opportunities for me and the options were limitless.

Because I remember the hard times in which I came from, I do not take this for granted and take advantage of every beneficial opportunity that is presented to me. My experiences taught me that not everyone has opportunities available to them and the ones that do should be thankful and not take it for granted. These hard economic times led me to see the importance of having perseverance. I admired the way my parents would work so hard day after day and their hopes and dreams would never be crushed.

I realized that you cannot give up on what you desire the most. As a child, I always told myself I would pull us out off the hard times; however, I had no idea how. I know now that the key is perseverance. I also understand now that having perseverance helps you keep pushing forward and makes you never question your goal, but instead keep striving for it. Without perseverance we never would have gotten through the economic troubles and the conflicts that came along with that.

Lastly, being economically unstable has shaped me into the charitable person I am today. As a kid I came to understand that many people did not have everything they wanted and that they too faced extremely hard times and struggled to live. Because I can relate, I have sympathy towards everyone who lives in those conditions, or even worse than that. My childhood showed me that there are some things you have no control over and sometimes living in poverty is one of them.

For this reason, I try to help as much as I can and extend my hand to those who need it the most. Living in an economically unstable childhood helped me to appreciate opportunities that may rise, realize the importance of perseverance, and become a helpful person towards the needy. Taking into consideration that not everyone has the opportunities that are available to me, I take advantage of them. Perseverance is needed to harness these opportunities and make the most out of them. Because I know where I have come from, I know where I am going.