My name is Drake W. and I am 19 years old. I am an outstanding athlete and play football, baseball and basketball. I have faced many challenges in my life that have strengthened me so that I will be a great asset to Virginia Union University.

I went to live with my Grandmother when I was in the fourth grade. My Mother was unable to care for us after the Department of Family and Children Services removed my sister and I from her custody because of serious child abuse issues. I have not heard from my Mother in three years.

My Grandmother lives in public housing and relies on Social Security to support us. My Grandmother has kidney cancer and is not in good health. I was often late for high school in order to help my Grandmother, because of the pain she was in. When her pain eased, I would walk three miles to school and sometimes I would be placed in In School Suspension, because I was late. I chose to go to school rather than stay at home, because I know the importance of education.

I strongly believe that education is the key to success and because of my life experiences, I know I have to work hard in order to have the promise of a limitless future. Growing up in the housing projects around bad influences, getting evicted and having to transfer from school to school, really messed with my mind at a young age. I was angry with the world. I decided then to use my past to reshape my future. I began to understand that sports and academics could change my life, thanks to the support of the Mentors Project.

I am the type of person that refuses to take no for an answer. I will not let my environment limit the person, I can become. I believe that through faith, persistence, and determination that I can do all things. Growing up in such hostile environments has made me the humble person that I am today, because I know that I want to work hard in order to be able to help my family.

I never met my father, so I had to teach myself how to become a young man, as well as act and think like one. My attitude needed work, because I was angry about all we did not have and all that I knew my Grandmother needed. I turned to my mentor, as well as baseball, basketball, and football coaches for advice and began to listen to them in order to get a man’s prospective about things. They helped mold me into the young man that I am today. Through this adversity I still managed to stay in control of my emotions and remain humble.

I think Virginia Union University would be the perfect fit for a young man like me because it embodies everything that I believe in. I like VUU because of its African American and Christian heritage which seems to be energized by a commitment to excellence and diversity.