Living in a single parent household is very different from that with both parents. With only one income to support an entire family, it becomes difficult for all the needs of the family to be met. Having lived with both of my parents for 12 years and then transitioning to a single parent household the stark differences were very evident and hard to adjust to. My name is Rahel Chewaka and I live with my mother and two brothers in San Diego. After 5 years of living in Ethiopia, Africa I moved to California with my family. My mother is an immigrant and never went to College. So when we moved to America she took on a job as caretaker, and later when my father wanted her to stay at home she had to quit her job. Then finally after many years of fighting my parents finally had a divorce. She was forced to become a taxi driver in a dying business, but she continually works hard for my family.
My mother is my hero, she inspires and encourages me to grow as a student and a woman. With all the struggles she has gone through my mom became a very wise and knowledgeable woman, and is always the person who fully understands me beyond my friends and brothers. However, she has suffered the repercussions of not having a full education. My mom, Tigist, is the main reason why I want to go to a great college and build a peaceful and comfortable future for my family. I have built wonderful and exciting dreams for myself, a life where I am respected in my vocation and able to support myself fully. The first step in this dream is to succeed in high-school setting the stepping stones for University. As a low-income immigrant in America, high-school presents many challenges. Affording to buy the appropriate school materials throughout the school year is hard for my mom to do. My brothers and I often have to depend on our father who has a strained relationship with us. When I need clothes for Squash, which is a sport I play with Access Youth Academy, and even materials for some of the school projects that I take on with the Student Government I have to ask my Dad. I have been in Access Youth Academy for 4 years and I’ve been playing squash for 4 years as well. My team travels to a National Tournament once a year and also participates in many other tournaments as well. I have to buy exercise clothes to play in and this with my other school requirements adds up to a lot of money that my mom can’t immediately afford. I don’t like to put pressure on my mom because she has to pay for all the home bills so I resort to asking my father. Being able to get squash clothes and maybe even a squash racket would be a great help to me for my game and for my family. This is one problem that I have managed but Bridge for Kids would immensely help me with.
In addition as I near the halfway point of the school year school materials often run thin. This is a problem I face every year. In the past, I have been able to stretch my materials to last until my mom can take the time off work and money to buy more. The materials I have and use often affect the quality of my school work although I try not to let it. I try to save my pencils and pens and borrow school materials when I can. However, when I do homework at home it becomes hard to complete my assignments to a high quality. Having a comfortable amount of basic school materials such as pencils, markers, lined paper, calculators, and especially binders would help me reach my highest potential in school. As I apply for different scholarships and programs having an adequate amount of materials proves to be very crucial. In addition, my family has not been able to obtain a laptop for our family so this is also a struggle that I hope I can get help with. Although these things sound small I know the change they make in my grades and life, and after 6 years at Preuss, I know how important having equipment for Squash and materials for school truly is.
All in all Bridge for Kids is a very impactful program that I have great respect for due to how much it helps struggling students. After seeing the great impact it had had on students at my school and encountering increasing challenges myself, I have been inspired to apply. I know there are many students with even more difficult problems than mine, but I hope that you can see the potential for academic success in me with your help.