Winning Essay by Bobby K. from Alabama attending University of Alabama
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Who can you run to when you need unconditional love? When you need advice? When you need compassion? When tears are running down your face and you need a shoulder to lean on? When life has given you tribulations and you can’t look them face to face alone? Or even when you’ve just received good news? I know exactly who I’m running to. My mother.

I don’t have any reason to choose anyone else other than my mother as the most inspiring African American in my life. Not only did she provide me an opportunity to walk and experience this beautiful Earth, but she has supplied each of my needs.

My strong beautiful African American queen, April Keahey, was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. As a young girl, she looked affliction in the face numerous of times. Years after she was born her parents got a divorce. Years after the divorce her father died and it damaged her mentally and emotionally, but she didn’t allow that to stop her from chasing her dreams.

In 1991, my mother had her first born child. She raised him as a single mother, while maintaining other responsibilities. Nine years later, in 2000, she gave birth to me. She raised me into the young man I am today with the help of my father. I would not be the person I am developing to become without the unconditional love of my mother.

My mother taught me to stand up for what is right. With her teaching me that lesson I have also learned that what is right is not always easy. She constantly pushes me to be better and to experience new things. She tells me to never get too comfortable where you currently are. She always tells me to push myself out of my comfort zone, so that I can be exposed to great things.

My mother always expounds the importance of education. She takes my education very seriously. Sometimes more serious than I do, but with her being experienced, I understand why she is tough on me about it. She tells me that education can take me anywhere I want to go. Because without education, you are stationary; while others are progressively growing towards their aspirations.

Other great aspects of my mother are her great advice and faith. My mother has rarely given me bad advice. Anything I need to talk to my mother about, she tells me what she thinks is best and that is usually the right thing. She also has strong faith and she believes everything happens for a reason. She persist to let me know that she has faith in me. Her having faith in me, allowed me to grow faith in myself.

My mother may not be famous or known worldwide, but her love for others stretches incredibly. Her expectations for me are high and I am very eager to meet and surpass them to show that what she has done as a mother has paid off.

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