Hello, My name is Ar'yea Nelson.
I am thankful to the Jordan CDC for an opportunity to share my gratitude and my story with you. I truly hope my story will encourage and assure someone your dreams can still come true despite the obstacles life throws your way.
The biggest obstacle I have come into contact in my life occurred in the second semester of my junior year of high school. I was out of school for a month due to a concussion and multiple injuries incurred from a car accident. The recovery time took longer than expected. This caused my grades to plummet down into the 40's, lower than I ever thought possible. The memory lost from my concussion caused me to have to relearn most of my academic work I completed by January 2015.
I will be honest, l was definitely not prepared to make up all of the work I had missed. In addition, l was stunned to learn my "welcome back to school letter" included the statement "… due to Texas' 90% rule, you must make up 54 school hours to be counted for your attendance," and "you should consider dropping out of Pre-AP classes and repeat your core classes the next year." This really pushed me to the edge.
After recovering from the impact of the school's letter, my mom helped me to begin working on plans to move forward. Luckily, having a good relationship with my teachers and principal really paid off. I received assistance from my teachers, one-on-one tutoring, and attended school after hours to complete all of my work. After numerous sessions of personal tutoring, sleepless nights, and tons of school hours I was able to make up missed assignments without dropping any of my classes. I was not about to drop everything I worked so hard to achieve. I did not spend that much time and effort for someone to declare that I am incapable of doing something, without my consent.
I made up all of my class work and somehow managed to raise my grades in all of my classes. I have learned that I am resilient. In the words of Nelson Mandela, "Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again." I have kept this quote on the lock screen on my phone since the day l found it for just a little insight in order to keep going. I have fallen down a lot throughout this little adventure.
I know the outcome of the car wreck was unfortunate, I am grateful I have overcome a majority of my injuries. I was able to recover from my concussion, unfortunately, I will have to live with permanent hearing loss in my left ear, I have taken my struggle to turn my life around and become a leader and a role model to others. From my struggles, I’ve chosen to continue my education and major in Mechanical Engineering. I know with this major I'll be able to help others in the future.
My goal is to create a new type of hearing aid for people who also suffer from hearing loss. In addition, I would also want to invent new technology that helps provide a faster and more detailed diagnosis of concussions. I have taken initial steps towards my goals by working closely with US FIRST and COCO BEST ROBOTICS. By being involved with these organizations, I have been blessed to meet amazing people who have stood by my side and cheered me on throughout the year. Either by volunteering, mentoring, direct contact. I plan to stay involved with these organizations to help other students move forward and work toward their goals in life. I truly comprehend now why giving back my time and commitment is the greatest endeavor I can accomplish to help inspire the next generation.
I am now working with my robotics team not only as a student, but as a mentor with plans to mentor other robotics teams within my community. I will differently be volunteering my time next year to inspire other teens like me who have an interest in engineering.
2016 Fall Semester Update:
To say the least, the transition from high school to college has been interesting one. I am currently taking classes at Tarrant County Community College with plans to move on to complete my undergraduate degree with a major in Mechanical Engineering.
Being a full time student taking a total 14 college credit hours is not an easy process. The classes I am taking as of this semester include Chemistry, English, Calculus, and US History. I really enjoy my professors, even though each class is rigorous, and requires loads of time, effort, and countless hours of studying. I enjoy each class, and I am excited to learn something new and advance my knowledge each day.
Also, please know your thoughts and prayers continue to make a positive impact in my life.
With all my gratitude,