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We all have heard that life is like a race or a marathon because we must overcome obstacles, endure trials, and suffer for a goal or a dream, but ultimately to be victorious! We all know that life can be challenging and painful, however every great story, book, or movie wouldn’t be considered great if there was no real struggle or conflict within the script.

A couple years ago I met this young man named DeShawn who has always seemed driven in my eyes. DeShawn has been an outstanding athlete for the last couple years, running multiple events in track and field for his high school, setting multiple personal records and even running in state qualifiers last year, so he knows a thing or two about suffering and enduring obstacles. Despite his athletic success I’m most impressed with how he is adapting to change.

DeShawn was born and raised in Schenectady in a single parent household where hard times are common. Recently, DeShawn and his mother decided to move into development project housing to achieve their ultimate goal, which is a home of their own. Despite the steps backwards and the impoverished neighborhood they reside in, DeShawn and his mother remain hopefully, setting their mind on the future and their dreams. Not only does he aspire to be a successful athlete, but he is focused and driven to be one of the only people in his family to graduate and go to college. DeShawn knows that in order to fulfill his goals in life he must struggle and put his blood, sweat and tears into his efforts to turn his dreams into a reality.

Stories like these leave me inspired and make me want to push forward and fight through my trials, not to be overtaken by them but to overcome and be victorious!

-Arthur Fennicks

*Names have been changed