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Wanting to be somebody…

May 22, 2010

Autumn is making straight A’s in school and also works 25-30 hours a week at a restaurant. She wants to pursue engineering as a career. With her permission, Youth Villages is reprinting a cover letter she wrote in applying for a pre-engineering program.


Growing up takes time, persistence and maturity. People do not just learn everything in one day. Before one can run, one must walk, and before one can walk, one must crawl. This is true for any situation. For me, being a computer software engineer is not only my dream, but also something I have striven to make a reality. From a young age, I have only had one reliable factor: school. Placed in foster care when I was 11, I did not know what to do or who to trust. My homes changed quickly, 14 times over the next five years.

The faces of people I knew stuck with me, but those were just memories; the people left just as quickly as they entered. I changed schools a lot, and although it was a struggle to keep up in my classes, it was the one thing I could focus on.

School was my constant. If I was scared, I could read a book, close my eyes, and imagine myself there. If I wanted to go somewhere new, instead of having to ride for miles in my DCS worker’s car, I could dive into George Orwell’s 1984.

“I do not want millions of dollars; I do not want fancy cars. I want to be able to say, ‘I did it.’ I want to enjoy the simplest pleasures in life starting with the freedom to be who I want to be. I want to graduate high school and make a future for myself.”


Life as a child can definitely be confusing. Life as an adult can be even more confusing. I believe the hardest part in one’s life is when they are stuck in between being a child and an adult, trying to figure out just who they are.

Most people go through a stage while they are young where they try to decide what they want to be.

If I could write a list of the attributes that would most resemble me, the top thing on my list would be a good leader and somebody with the passion and motivation to make sure nobody stood in their way.

I may not have always shown these qualities, but they have always been inside of me, something constantly keeping me on track.

I was only 9 when first I saw Apollo 13, but I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to be one of those brilliant people who figured out how to fit a square into a circle. I wanted to multiply numbers that were imaginary and create an algorithm to tell a computer what to do.

Since that day, I have spent hours and hours researching what a computer engineer does. I have taken computer, math and science courses, while making enormous effort to learn everything behind the scenes of the wonderful world of engineering. I have a passion to learn and a desire to be taught everything and anything.

My life has been very challenging at times, and I have chosen to make the best of it.

Although I have had many struggles, I am blessed. I have the capability to think, to dream, and to make goals that I wish to achieve. I have the power to achieve those goals.

While pursuing my education in computers I have met plenty of people who are employed by a company such as Dell, but also give back to the community. They sponsor programs where young adults in difficult situations can be shown things they may not have known because of their circumstances.

For example, I once went to this thing where Dell toured us through the building showing us all the different jobs people had and all the interesting things about the company.

They showed us how to create resumes on computers and even showed us their new and secret accessories that were going to be coming out in 2010.

This was definitely one of those times where you could use the term “broadening someone’s horizon.” I want to be an engineer, but I also want to give back to the community.

I do not want millions of dollars; I do not want fancy cars. I want to be able to say, “I did it.” I want to enjoy the simplest pleasures in life starting with the freedom to be who I want to be. I want to graduate high school and make a future for myself.

People who grow up “in the system” are said to eventually become a drug abuser, end up in jail, or some other heartbreaking statistic. I want to show the world that I refuse to be another number, another case.

I want to show the world what I can do.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anabel Garner permalink
    June 11, 2010 10:17 am

    I am so impressed by this young lady’s eloquence and power. She is driven and self-motivated. She used the resources that she has available to her in order to succeed. I am so impressed by her strength of character and her intelligence. She will grow up to be an example of not letting one’s circumstances take control or power away from one. Great job girl! We are proud of you.

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