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“Behind The Façade”

A winning essay from our Brighter Future Scholarship contest

Growing up, my uncle was always the life of the party. He had a big personality, a contagious laugh, and a heart of gold. But as I got older, I started to realize that there was something else going on with him. He would disappear for days at a time, leaving my family to worry and wonder where he was. He would show up to family events drunk or high, making a scene and causing tension. And he would often ask my parents for money, claiming that he needed it for rent or groceries, but we all knew where it was going.  

At first, I didn’t understand what was going on with my uncle. I just knew that he wasn’t acting like himself, and it made me sad and confused. But as I got older, I started to learn more about addiction and how it can affect people’s lives. I read books and articles, talked to my family members, and even asked him directly about his struggles with it. And through all of this, I started to see my uncle’s addiction in a new light.  

On the one hand, my uncle’s addiction had a lot of negative effects on my life. It caused a lot of stress and tension in my family, as we all struggled to cope with his behavior. I remember feeling embarrassed and ashamed when he would show up to my school drunk or high, and I didn’t want my friends to see him like that. It also made me angry and frustrated, as I felt like he was choosing drugs over his family and his health. And of course, there was always the fear that something terrible would happen to him – that he would overdose, get arrested, or hurt someone else.  

But on the other hand, my uncle’s addiction also had some positive effects on my life. It forced me to become more empathetic and compassionate toward others, as I learned to see addiction as a disease rather than a choice. It also taught me to appreciate the small moments in life, as I realized how precious and fleeting they can be. And it brought my family closer together, as we all rallied around my uncle and tried to support him in whatever way we could.  

Now that I’m older, I can see how my uncle’s addiction has changed my perspective on addiction as a whole. I used to think that addiction was a moral failing, a sign of weakness or lack of willpower. But now I know that it can feel like moving a mountain and getting over something like that. It takes a lot more than I could ever imagine, so I am always proud of my uncle for his efforts.  

I plan on being a journalism major in school and hopefully becoming a music critic or social commentator in my career. I have a passion for hip-hop and African American culture as a whole. I want to use my love for writing to talk about the things I love, while also spreading positive & important situations that affect people all over. It is especially harder for an African American member of the LGBTQ+ community. People from these marginalized groups are looked at in a different light, and I want to be able to prove those who will look at me in the wrong light. I want to show that I am capable of being a successful person during all of the struggles I have gone through. 

The money would greatly help me so I do not have to burden myself with debt. I find my passions to be the most important thing to me, and I am highly focused on being my best self in this world. I want to leave a stamp on society and make a name for myself. In conclusion, there are tons of candidates for this scholarship that are equally, if not more deserving than myself. I wish you take my essay review when picking someone to receive the money. My goal is to be an outstanding individual that brings positivity into the world. I hope you can see that through my writing. Thank you so much for your consideration. 

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