Search This Blog

Monday, June 17, 2013

Leader In My Life

For many reasons my father is the best example of a role model /leader in my life. He has overcome many hardships during his lifetime and has always remained focused, determined and been convicted about
progressing and moving forward with everything he has encountered. I have learned so much from him and about him that is still motivating me years later.

Ever since an early age while growing up in a small town in Indiana, responsibility, dedication and hard working have been ways to describe my father. He was the oldest of four in a fatherless home. His mother had to put four children in a foster home when my father was eight and his youngest sister was just turning two. This was the first time of many when his mother and siblings would rely on him for leadership and dependability. For the next 4 -5 years my father was a leader, role model and father figure for his 3 younger siblings while his mother gathered and saved money to get them all back. Once my grandmother was able to get my father and his brother and two sisters back home they moved to west Baltimore. It was 1960 and my father was a freshmen at Edmonson High School, and he was very new to city life and formal schooling. Over the next two years he adjusted as well as possible. He earned a spot on the varsity basketball team and won a state championship. My father was hired to a paper route near his home and joined the choir at the local Catholic church, continuing to being a role model and a father figure for his younger siblings. He exceled in everything of which he was a part.

During the mid 1960s the Vietnam conflict was turning into a war and gathering more and more interest
throughout the world. My father at the age of 17 in junior high decided with his mother's approval of course to join the marines. He went to fight for his country and earn money for his family. This experience taught him about life, courage, discipline, leadership and struggle. He was taught fast and expected to learn on the fly. It was one of the hardest things he has ever struggled through, but it made the man and leader he is today.

Following his military experiences he returned home to a country that didn't acknowledge not respect his stand and participation in Vietnam. Life was hard for my father, yet again he persevered over and over. He went back to school at a local college, got a job at Pimilco Race track and started a family.

Life was looking up but not for long, after my parents marriage, my mother had a miscarriage which broke both of their hearts. They tried for the next few years to have a child which weighed heavily on their relationship until in 1987 they had me in April. They could not rebuild the [severed] relations and got divorced in 1989.

My father has always been there for me no matter what, he is my best friend, a great role model as a man and a father. He was my best man at my wedding, and one of my few bright spots in my life. He is a great example of perseverance, determination, dedication, responsibility, love, care and courage.


Todd Elliott is a 26 year old student in I Can Lead, and a recovering addict. He graduated from John Hopkins University with a Visual Communication degree. He is a graphic artist by trade and loves helping others in anyway possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment