Nicole Bratcher-Bouyer

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The premise of my life has been that all things, both good and bad, work in my favor to fulfill my purpose in life. At only 21 years of age, I am still piecing together exactly what I am meant to do for humanity, however, I am certain that all I have endured is the reason I am here today reaping the benefits of this wonderful scholarship award! I am just a girl from 79th Street in Chicago who lost her father at age five to gun violence and was raised by a single mother just trying to make ends meet. I am the girl who watched her mother have a stroke before her eyes and became a primary caregiver at the age of 15 years old.

A few years ago, if you looked at me you would wonder how was this girl who spent every waking moment at home taking care of her disabled mother and every moment at school catching up on sleep going to get into the top Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in the country and thrive on its grounds. Truth be told, I couldn’t answer for you either. All I know is I have been intuned with my inner voice since I was a child. My inner voice guided me through all adversities I had to face. My inner voice could see all I was surrounded by and keep me reminded that I wanted more out of life for myself and loved ones. That inner voice spoke to me daily through caregiving, homelessness, and dark nights of depression. It told me there was more out there for me but I needed to fight for it.

I fought what seemed to be aimlessly to maintain a high GPA, pay my entire tuition throughout college alone, and still have a smile on my face and desire in my heart to see the finish line. Well as a senior at Howard University, I am almost at the finish line where I will be receiving a Bachelors of Arts degree in Media, Journalism, and Film Studies May of 2018. At the finish line I see tears of joy and an opportunity to return to my hometown and pour the same love and growth into it as it has poured into me. I came into senior year not knowing how I would finish financially. I am so thankful to say that We The Future Contest has helped solve that problem for me! To anyone out there with a similar story or facing adversity, I just want you to know that there is good in everything that happens to you. The more you trust in this mindset and your abilities to overcome all adversities, the more you will see life work in your favor.

Read Winning Work Here.