July 3rd, 2014
A Wider Circle, D.C. non-profit organization helps furnish the homes of impoverished families. My story began five months ago when one of my past football teammates showed up to the weight room at my high school. We had already formed a brotherhood on the football field. I was getting my daily workout in and in walked what I had not known was soon going to be my brother forever. Since I had not seen him in around a year we were excited to finally meet up again. We started talking but it was not until five minutes later after he had walked through the door that I looked into his eyes and felt something was wrong. My inquisition led me to ask him what was going on. Trusting me fully due to our previous relationship he began telling me.
He was born in Haiti and here I am an Italian from Youngstown, Ohio now living in Naples, Florida. Total polar opposites in our walk of life, but I saw something in his eyes I had never seen before, a look of pure defeat and helplessness. After conversing with him for 5 minutes I dropped the question and cut to the point. My inquisition led me to my heart felt question to ask him what he was dealing with. His eyes were telling me he was down river without an oar. He started off in Chicago playing football the first semester and transferred home after he was mistreated by the university he was attending. When he moved back home he started working three jobs and moved into an apartment with his older sister. Two weeks prior to our conversation him and his sister had been evicted from their apartment and his sister told him to move out and that he was going to have to go out on his own. Well he did exactly that, living out of his car, showering at the beach, and still keeping three jobs to try and make the best of his situation. My heart was aching for my brother, deep inside I convinced myself I had no other option than to welcome him into my family’s house with open arms. I did not care what my mother said about this I just knew deep inside it was what had to be done. If you’re not a part of the solution then you are a part of the problem. I did not want to be a part of that problem and live with the fact I did nothing to help. After my workout I led him back to my house and walked him right into the house and said Mom he is living with us. My poor impoverished brother was screaming on the inside begging for help all I had to do was look into his eyes. No 19 year old kid should have to live like this. I made great sacrifices for him. Already sharing a bedroom with my 12 year old brother, we moved his things into the room and I adapted. I did not care one bit about making these great sacrifices because putting myself into his shoes I would be more than grateful for being welcomed with open arms into another family’s home.
Being successful in college is all about sacrifice, whether it is turning off your phone, giving up sleep to finish studying, or putting your friends on hold because you have a paper that is due at midnight. Having the will to sacrifice is the key to success in college and I have learned this very important skill 5 months before I got here. I am so grateful to have my brother living under my family’s roof. It goes way deep than just sacrifice I have learned so much about him. Coming from two completely different walks of life I have learned to thrive when placed into a diverse community. Respecting others and their beliefs is also a key skill to have when entering a university especially with how diverse The University of Michigan is. Now me off living in college and him being at home, my parents are divorced and there is not a man to protect my mother, sisters, and brother. He has filled my shoes of being the man in the house and I respect him so much for taking that spot and filling it to the best of his ability. That was my biggest concern in moving off to college was who will be there for my family when I move away? My new adopted brother.
I want to continue my helping hand to the rest of the world and someday help the impoverished people of this world to give them a better life like I gave my brother.