From the time I entered public school, I was bullied for my religion. I am Apostolic Pentecostal and for modesty’s sake, I wore skirts that at least went to my knees. All the other girls wore pants or make-up and thought it was strange that I, being “Miss Religious,” didn’t do things the way they did.
Being picked on was tough, but I made it through every day avoiding my classmates. For high school, I decided I wanted to be homeschooled but it didn't work for me. I eventually came to the conclusion that a small academy close by would be the best option for me instead.
My first few weeks there were very hectic and I was bombarded with questions about the skirt. It was scary, but being older and more mature, I was able to explain that it was my choice to dress how I did.
During my junior year I had to come out of my little shell because of my new job at our school's coffee shop. Having to greet customers and be friendly and welcoming to them helped me overcome my social anxiety. Now, I have no problem with meeting new people and being friendly to all sorts of strangers I meet day to day.
Every day I work at the coffee shop, the more I am encouraged to continue with my dreams of one day being a chef! My manager is always very encouraging, and always helps me with learning to make conversation. Without him and the support of my co-workers, I would never have gotten an application to Johnson and Wales University (www.jwu.edu). Now, my dreams are becoming a reality!
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