Winning Essay by Jarad P. from Texas attending Dillard University
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When I first read the prompt to this essay, I knew exactly who I wanted to talk about because this person left a big big impact on my life before he departed this world. My father is the person besides my mother is the reason I carry myself the way I do.

Throughout my whole life, it was my mother and I against the world. The first eleven years of my life, I grew up thinking that my brother’s dad was my dad, but once I became old enough, I learned the truth: I had a different father. From that day forward, I was determined to find my real dad. It took awhile, but once I turned fifteen, my dreams came true. I finally met my father in January of 2015. My mother set up a dinner so we could meet each other.

My father is my inspiration is life because he proved the stereotype of “absent fathers” is wrong. Usually, when you think of fathers that missed the first couple of years of their child’s life, you assume he will probably just leave again or not really care for his child. My dad was the exact opposite. As soon as he got a hold of me, he made sure I wasn’t going to slip away.

My dad gave me the best 7 months of my life, and I know if he didn’t die, he would still continue to make sure my smile never leaves my face. My dad passing was very devastating and it had a hold on me for awhile. Many thoughts and questions traveled my mind, which made me go into a depression for some time. Eventually though, I realized I should appreciate how he taught me many things that I never thought was possible. I was only 15 when I met him and I thought I was already mature, but every pre-teen still has a lot of room to better themselves. I learned how to humble myself more when I was with him. He taught me not every action deserves a reaction. He taught me little things that made a big difference.

The time I had with my father was very beneficial because he introduced me to a whole new life. I still love and appreciate the my brother’s dad for being there my whole life and treating me as his child even after I found out about my real dad. But it was just a different depth of relationship that I had with my father. Everything finally made sense in life after I met my dad. We were just like from the way we dressed and act. It doesn’t take much for someone to inspire you and it doesn’t always have to be something dramatic. The simple things my dad did for me made him my inspiration. He stepped up and started taking care of me right away with no questions asked. I will continue to make him proud by graduating and going to college.

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