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My parents and the community that I grew up in expected me to be an overachiever. “Get all A’s in school” is what I heard them say day in and day out; however, after struggling through first and second grade, I began to think that I would not live up to their expectations. My parents took me for academic testing and we found out that I had a cognitive learning disability. Throughout my childhood and adolescent years, I was enrolled in low-level academic classes and tried desperately to move up to join my high-academic-achieving peers, but failed to do so. I often felt frustrated, ashamed, and hopeless that I would be unable to achieve my personal and professional goals. To calm my nerves, my mother came into my room one evening and told me stories about CEOs of Fortune 500 companies who had learning disabilities, but worked to overcome them. From that night, I made it a life goal to excel in any field that I chose to pursue. For the first time in my life, I realized that I too could be successful and overcome my challenges. The harder I worked, the better I performed, and I began to...

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