I have always thought of myself as optimistic and a lover of life, but I have now learned that life is not always an easy journey. It all began in 8th and 9th year I was bullied and struggled once again with my health. Things suddenly took a turn for the worst that summer when one of my best friends Hannah Warburton died by suicide. It shook mine and many other’s worlds. At that point and on, I began to deal with depression and other psychological and emotional problems. Since Hannah, I have had two other good friends commit suicide. Then, my 11th-grade year, I broke my foot and was restricted to a boot and crutches for about 6 months, forcing me to give up many opportunities in school and social activities. I needed surgery at the end of that 6 months and my foot took an additional 2-3 months to heal. That year my mom also underwent colon surgery to remove part of her colon and in the process discovered that she has kidney cancer. In fall of 2014, my Grandma Carter was diagnosed with ALS. Unfortunately, in 2015 I had 3 grandmas pass away including my dear Grandma Carter only a year after her diagnosis. She passed away in our home and my mom and I performed CPR on her. It was one of the most devastating and traumatizing moments of my life. For months afterward I suffered from depression and symptoms from PTSD. My senior year started off with me getting a minor concussion and with my grandmother’s death. I was barely able to graduate from high school but with the help of family, friends, and especially my Heavenly Father I miraculously finished out the year. During all of this, we had major financial problems and were in jeopardy of losing our house. There were many times where I was angry and confused, but whenever it came down to it, I had to remind myself that God knows what He is doing and that all I have to do is trust him. Finally, after the last 4 years of being helpless in the dark, I am finally seeing the blessings resulting from the experiences I went through. I am stronger now than I was before, I have experience in life, and I genuinely have a love for myself, my life and for others. I am here to testify that if we let them, our trials and weaknesses can become our strengths and I also know for a sure fact that God loves us and will help us through anything that comes our way.
Allison Chapman, Weber HS, 2016 AwardeeJune 14, 2016 | by