Zavion Watson – Collegiate Staff
He was once lost in a space; space that specifically targeted his mind. It made him confused about who he was as a man, but also who he was as a man of God. At one point, corrupted and pesky thoughts crowded his mind. He questioned the purpose of the greatest gift given to all mankind, life. He was still the boy to speak with the utmost respect; the kind to never hesitate when it came to giving back and the kind to offer help when someone was struggling. He was the same boy who couldn’t find a way to help himself. The anger he had inside him seemed to still be alive from the times when he was mistreated and bullied. He was bullied because he didn’t wear the latest style of clothing and didn’t rock the same shoes that everyone else did. At that time his mouth refused to communicate the words to speak up for himself and give his opinion. He often felt that he was moving forward but also experiencing setback after setback. There was always that still yet quiet voice in the back of his mind telling him to keep his head up when times were rough. It kept him alive and it gave him the surge to keep moving forward. There’s a story behind this young man, it’s deeper than what you see and he needs the world to listen.
On October 7, 1998 I was abandoned after birth by my mother at a hospital in Grand Rapids. The only person willing to fight for custody was my father, trying to step up and fill a place that at that time was not where his purpose stood. But I salute to you “pops,” because not everyone is cut from that side of the cloth, taking responsibility for actions that you know probably shouldn’t have happened. But I’m going to show you and mom why your mistake wasn’t really a mistake, why your son is standing tall but also thanking you guys from afar for giving me up for adoption. God will take you from situations where you are not in the best position to win but then put you in a place where you have the best shot at success if you just follow Him.
Wilbur and Debra Watson were the blessings placed in my life, being divorced now but still having us as their main priority. They went from teaching me my left from my right to teaching me what’s right from wrong. These two people have had the impact on me that I know my birth mother and my father could not have on me, which is why I was put in this situation. Wilbur went through things, so when it came time I didn’t have to repeat that same cycle because my path was already written. Raising not just me but two other kids taken out of similar situations that I now call my sisters. It’s time for them to recognize their worth and the purpose that has been placed upon their lives and not just mine.
My biological mother was a drug addict even while she was pregnant with me. I wasn’t supposed to be comprehending all this and then regurgitating it back to you the way that I am. I still have to go through things like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, but I believe I will overcome any obstacle that stands in my way of being successful. I want to be the example that others failed to be. That example that when you look at me you think “nothing’s impossible.” And that’s true, my parents instilled in me that I can grow up to be anything I want to be as long as I put my mind to it. This has stuck with me, and will forever be embedded in my heart.
How would you feel to be labeled throughout your whole school career as a kid who has “special needs” but you yourself know you exceeded these terms and did not let them define you. I’ve been holding this in since I was first registered for their system in second grade. I didn’t want the weight of the kids that didn’t understand my situation to crush me with their ignorant words. Being in this setting allowed me to accept others I knew that weren’t like me. I started to feel bad for these kids that were labeled but didn’t care not one bit and would lower their standards to the level of negativity the school system had on this group of people. My school life was terrible, once I started to exceed their expectations, I was put in a general education setting where I struggled because the work in the special ed setting was so much easier. It was like throwing a lion a head of lettuce when he’s used to eating meat. Don’t continue to let someone label you because eventually you’ll become that label.
Now I’ve graduated from East Kentwood high school with the intentions of going above and beyond to greater things in life. Right now I’m attending Grand Rapids Community College for a semester and a semester only, because my calling lies elsewhere and it’s not in Grand Rapids.
So my advice to you is to be someone and not live up to other people’s expectations. Reach for the stars like you’ve never dreamed before. Be an impact on someone’s life. And strive till you can’t anymore.