Sementha Bastien Seventeen years ago, an eighteen year old young woman gave birth to a baby. Although she was young and inexperienced in life, the young woman decided to take care of her precious gift and raise her baby to the best of her abilities. She brought up the newborn as a young African American mother and made countless sacrifices for child. Many people refer to that young woman as Nilsa Baptiste, but she is known to me as Mommy. My mother gave birth to me while she was a senior in high school. My mother does not have a Bachelorâ€™s degree because she had to sacrifice her college education to raise me as a single mother, but in my eyes, she is the most intelligent person. My grandmother did not provide much support for my mother especially after she gave birth to me, so after she graduated from high school, my mother had to find a job in order to support the two of us. Ever since she was eighteen years old, my mother has been independent and incessantly raised me to the best of her abilities. I have been around teachers and others who possess an impressive amount of intelligence, but my motherâ€™s knowledge was the most fascinating. Throughout my twelve years of schooling, I have learned lessons in various subjects from well trained teachers, but the greatest lessons I learned were from my mother. She always seemed to know every answer in the unwritten handbook of life. Beginning from when I was a young girl, my mother pushed me to do everything to the best of my efforts. She always made her best attempts to help me with my homework whenever I struggled with it. She also helped me develop effective study habits, but most importantly, she taught me life skills. She does not make much money, but she always manages to pay the bills on time and provide me and my little brother with food to eat clothes to wear, and other necessities. She may not be able to take us on fancy vacations, but the quality of time that she spends with me and my little brother attains more value than any trip that anybody can afford. The simple things like renting movies and watching them together or baking cookies together satisfy me. My mother and I have developed a very strong relationship. We have had our good moments and our bad moments, but it is hard to experience the joys of sunshine without experiencing the downfalls of rain. As I grow older and acquire a greater sense of understanding, I appreciate my mother more everyday along with everything that she has done for me. She is the reason why I am who I am today not only because she made the decision to give birth to me but because she embodies so much courage, strength, and intelligence that emanates from her towards me. Being raised by an intrepid, single African American woman has provided me with so much insight in everything I do in life. Witnessing my mother overcome her struggles without any human help has taught me to never give up on anything that I commence. Because of my mother and the life examples that she has provided me with, I have the ability to accomplish the impossible. I know that anywhere I go including the Burnett Honors College at the University of Central Florida; I will radiate determination and work diligently at everything I do. My mother sacrificed her life to provide me with life, so this opportunity to succeed is more than just my opportunity. It is also my motherâ€™s opportunity.