My name is Maria Kassandra Velez and I am writing this letter to nominate my family for the Family of the Year Award 2012. I’d like to nominate them for this award because it would be a small gesture of gratuity for all the things they have done for me.
My family consists of my daughter, mother, grandmother, and grandfather, and my older cousin. We all live together in our home on the west side of Cleveland. There are also my uncle, his wife, and my two younger cousins. They live about five minutes away from us. My family is my greatest support system through good times and bad.
At the age of fourteen while in my freshman year of high school, I became pregnant. I’d have to say that that was the hardest thing I have gone through in my life and I would have never made it without my family. Although upset at first, they supported my desire of wanting to keep my baby and they helped me find all the assistance I needed in order successfully go through school and maintain good academic stand. There were many times they took care of my baby while I did homework or studied for exams.
When the time came to look for colleges, my family and I looked at only a few but John Carroll University was the top choice for us all. When we received my acceptance letter we were so happy because I would be able to go to school close to home yet receive a genuine and excellent education.
My freshman year of college I was able to live on campus thanks to my mother taking out a parent plus loan. Throughout that first year my family took care of my daughter during the week while I was at school and then I’d come home every weekend. I was able to fully experience college life thanks to my family and their never ending love and help.
My sophomore year I decided to commute from home and enroll my daughter into pre-kindergarten at Our Lady of Mount Caramel. My family helped me very much by dropping off and picking up my daughter whenever my school schedule or study schedule conflicted with my ability of picking up and dropping her off.
Now I’m in my junior year at John Carroll University, and like my sophomore year, I’m still commuting and my daughter is still in school. I maintain good academic stand and success at John Carroll University and outside of school. I am the best mother I can be to my daughter and I’m a role model to many of my daughter, cousins and teenage girls in my community and church. Every day I set an example by waking up and pushing forward towards success and this is all thanks to my family because they have taught and shown me that no matter what obstacles life puts in your path you must have faith in God and know that all will be ok and that in the end it is all part of his amazing plan for us. I love my family dearly, I thank God for blessing me with them at every moment I can, and whether they win or lose this award, in my heart my family has won the award for Family of the Century.
Maria Kassandra Velez
Class of 2014