At time I completed middle-school, my mother was suffering from emotional issues and became addicted to drugs. We were forced to move often and were virtually homeless. My grades suffered as a result. As my mother dealt with her issues, I moved to Fort Lee, Virginia to live with my sister, an army officer. My sister got stationed at MacDill AFB, so I moved with her back to Tampa and began working part-time, to save money for college. I applied to USF but was not accepted. HCC was my best option, given its proximity and affordability. I entered HCC lacking confidence, but small class sizes gave me access to great professors who helped me grow into a confident and competent student. One professor, in particular, Anthony Bonaquisti, inspired me to work hard and pursue my dreams without fear of failure. Today, I’m at the University of South Florida earning my B.A. in chemistry and in 2020, I will apply to medical school. Thanks to my experience at HCC, I have never felt more self-assured than I do now.