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According to the media, I`m a dark-skinned male approximately 5`9 in height that currently has warrants out for my arrest. I`ve been arrested several times for possession of controlled substances and armed robbery, not to mention battery and assault. I dropped out of high school before I could completely comprehend basic math because my attention span would not sustain long enough due to drug abuse at an early age. My mother does not know who my father is and I`m currently living off of welfare trying to support my three kids. That is the portrayal of a black male. According to that description I`m a danger to society and there is nothing unique or special about me.

Aside from the picture painted of me with such vivid imagery, I feel it is time for a proper introduction. My name is Michael Freeny. I am currently 23 years old pursuing a bachelor`s degree in Engineering Technology. Despite my age and lack of degree, I have seven years of IT consulting and mechanical engineering experience. In more relatable terms, that means I can build a server room and a car engine with my eyes closed. I have been recognized by Dell and Toshiba as well as certified by Microsoft for great field work. I graduated from Alief Early College high school with 20 college credits towards my bachelor`s degree, and I am the first in my family to graduate from high school or attend college. I`m extremely proud of the person I am now, but before I continue to establish the perspective for the man that I am, I`m obligated to explain what conditioned me to be this way.

At the age of six my family and I left the south side of Chicago due to the growing gun violence, I was the youngest of four children at the time. Chicago was getting worse and after my brother got shot at the skating rink my mother knew it was time to move. She set her destination to Houston, Texas in search of a better life, but honestly, I do not believe she ever found it. We arrived in Houston and things started off well, at least in my opinion because I was just a child. Up until the age of 16 I could never figure out why the electricity bill was consistently left unpaid or why every few months we had to move when a sheriff came to our door to evict us. I could never wrap my mind around why people constantly called child protective services on my mother claiming that she was an unfit parent. To be completely honest I thought she was doing her best, and she kept a job so I didn`t understand why bills were not getting paid.

One thing that I was sure of was that l did not want to live a life like the one I was in. It was at the age of 10 that I began to plan for a better life so that I would not be in the same predicament as my family. I realized then that the main difference between me and those I was surrounded by daily, was my outlook of the situation and the choices I made. I then decided to go to Alief Early College high school even with all my friends laughing and encouraging me not too. That high school contributed to the largest part of my growth. The work was challenging but the professors cared about their students. Majority of my homework and studying was done with flashlights because our lights were typically off when I got home. I endured four years of high school with a lack of money, food, and shelter; I was homeless for a period of two years. Although it seemed society and the universe would joyfully want to see me complacent with the situation I was born into, there was nothing that would stand in my way for an education and a better life.

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