Continued from page 13 He inquired “why should I let you in this program?” I responded “Because God has shown me that this is my season to get this degree. If I don’t take advantage of this window of opportunity, I may never have another chance!” In the meeting he did not say whether he would let me in or not, but several days later I received my acceptance letter! I graduated May 4, 1993 with a Master’s in Social Work. I married a few years later and was blessed with 2 daughters, Kayla and Karina. Both girls were an answer to my prayer to be a mother. Kayla, who is now 20, is a beautiful psalmist, compassionate, and spunky Certified Nurse Aide. Karina is an artist who in her own rite has established herself as a self-taught visionary artist. She began drawing at 3 years old. It was obvious very early that she had an uncanny eye. She could literally duplicate anything that she saw. By the time she was 5 years old, we had to face a serious challenge. After 10 hearing tests, it was revealed that she had significant hearing loss. Although it was a devasting challenge, the one thing I knew was there was a purpose bigger than the challenge! I taught her to be resilient, to be educated and courageous. Daily, I remind her of how special, unique and gifted she is. She began to use her hearing aids to her advantage. If she didn’t want to argue with her sister, she would simply turn her hearing aids off! By the time she was 6, she was duplicating drawings of famous cartons like Mickey Mouse, The Flintstones and Bugs Bunny. She would challenge herself to make a better nose or to improve the eyes, lips and skin tones of her paintings. Because of her own experience of feeling “different” at times, she became passionate about individuals that were unique, like those diagnosed with Albinism or Vitiligo.