Word Of the Week #540: Perseverance

December 11, 2014 by  

Perseverance – steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose.

Have you ever felt that “As hard as I try I just can’t seem to make it happen?” Are you willing to do “whatever it takes” to get what you want? When was the last time you exhibited a steady persistence in a course of action?

This week’s WOW comes from my student and mentee, Katrina. As many of you know, I am on the board of Fostering Opportunities Scholarships. Our Mission is to continue expanding post secondary educational opportunities for the foster youth of San Diego County, by providing them with mentors and financial support. They are in need of funding for housing, food, and transportation, as well as, their education.

Katrina has been in our program for a year-and-a-half and is majoring in biology. She was 5 years-old when her father died. Her mother was an abusive alcoholic and so she entered the foster care system. She was placed in the home of a woman who was a friend of her father’s co-worker. At one point she lived in a group home.

$ Katrina

Katrina says, “There was a time in my life where I was quite frustrated and feeling as though every time I took two steps forward I’d end up taking one step back. A dear friend of mine (she’s also a therapist, what a perk) told me… ‘Katrina, you have a very unstable foundation due to no fault of your own (in regards to my life in the foster system and no real support of family.) You need to allow for room to experience setbacks as you are trying to build a life on an unstable foundation.’

She gave me an example of trying to build a house on a rocky foundation. It can be done but you have to constantly work on the foundation as you build to make things stable. If something comes undone sometimes it means dropping everything to fix it. And it was just then it all made sense to me. Perseverance is going after everything you want out of life and not giving up no matter the setbacks. You endure because being successful means more to someone like me then any set back could.

Fostering Opportunities Scholarships was formed, in March 2002, by a group consisting of social workers, teachers of at-risk students, and nurses. They decided something had to be done for their foster kids, who when they turned 18, were “aged” out of the system. We are a locally operated non-profit scholarship foundation. There is NO paid staff at FOS. We are ALL VOLUNTEER Directors serving on the Board. When asked, “Do board members get paid?” The response given with a hearty laugh is, “No, it costs to be a board member.” I have served on the board for the last 12 years.

This week’s focus is on perseverance. How would it feel if every time you took two steps forward you ended up back one? Would you continue with steady persistence? Do you have a support system that helps you move forward when setbacks arise? Do you think that having an education is important for success?

Let me know if you would like to be a part of my “Team Crisafulli” in raising money for Katrina’s education. You can go to www.MyDollar.org to find out more about our foundation.

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