Athletics, throughout my life, have provided me with many opportunities, and has taught me many skills and lessons about, sportsmanship, community, character, and much more. It has made me into a young man of character, and a person who is forever striving to become, my best me. My first two years in high school were not the best. On top of school my freshman year, I was homeless. My mother, father, older sister, four younger brothers, and two younger sisters, lived in a one room motel off of 127th street. The motel was called, the Plaza Inn, on 1210 S Ashland. Most days we had to get up around 4:30 am just to be on time for school, and some days I didn’t even go. Instead of me dropping out, and becoming a statistic I reached out to coaches, teachers, and other Payton families. I understood what had to be done in order to achieve my goals, and some of those people believed I could do it. I learned that people believed in me, and over the last year helped me get through challenging times, and has taught me to be a team player in the face of adversity. I’m one of 20,000 African American males in C.P.S high schools, and that demographic is the poorest achieving. Even if you aren't familiar with the C.P.S school system you should know that there are many African American males of all ages being jailed, having little to no opportunity, because they are involved with gangs and/or drugs. I don’t want to go down that path; I want to break the cycle in my family by being better than that. Like I said, I have four younger brothers, and 2 younger sisters that all look up to me. I have to be the example of what they should strive to become, and I plan to set the bar high. As I continue on the path of athletics, I hope it grants me a chance to do something that my parents have not, which is the opportunity to go to a college.
My G.P.A is not the best at the moment, but compared to my last semesters I have dramatically improved. This is not a fluke; I have been putting in the work. Also I have been privileged to get some resources along the journey. My G.P.A will continue to rise, because I will continue to strive for greatness. If you take a chance on me, you will not regret it.