Current Students

Lerato: Determining your destiny

leratopic1Lerato Mokoena is a Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) participant studying marketing at Edmonds Community College.  Here she writes about how she felt as a teenage mother in South Africa and what she learned about the motivation and determination required for success.

Flash back to 2009, when I was a young scholar in grade 11. I fell pregnant and I remember feeling everything came crumbling down.  I mentally caved in.  “Throw in the towel,” I thought to myself. No more going to school, no more hanging out with friends. I basically stopped living my life.  Fast forward to 2010 April, and my precious bundle of joy is born. Just one look at her and I asked myself, “What is this I`m feeling?”  The little voice at the back of my head shouts, “That’s your life, strength and reason to go on.”

Most of us have gone through tough situations and some are still in those tough struggles at this point in time in their lives.  It is up to each and every individual to decide whether our rough experiences build or break us, it is not easy and there is no guarantee when it will all pass.

From that experience my life took a turn for the better, I started chasing success and a better future with everything I had.  I did everything with a positive attitude. I was full of energy and ready to face the world. Failure was not an option. Motivation, focus and determination took over. Though people still judged, pointed fingers and gossiped, it did not break me, I was on a mission to leratopic2independence and success. Because I had hope and the drive to change my life around, I worked super hard in my studies and I helped co-find and start a library book club, where I met two beautiful American literature lecturers who told me about the opportunity of studying abroad through the Community College Initiative program. I grabbed the chance and started looking up the program and its application requirements, deadlines, and how much time it would take to get accepted and actually finish etc. I then applied and today I am in the United States of America, studying what I love, MARKETING, in one of the best colleges.  Young adults, let us not let our mistakes deprive or eat away our will, focus and drive to design and achieve our destinies.  If I can achieve this much in life, so can you.

While you are busy sitting around and complaining about how life is unfair, ask yourself this: What am I doing to make it fair for me? Your destiny is not determined by the tough/bad experiences you face in life but rather by the decisions you make to overcome the hardships and the lessons you learned in the process.


The NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The opinions expressed in this blog by writers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Northwest Community College Initiative program, Edmonds Community College, Whatcom Community College, Pierce College, the United States Department of State or any employee thereof. NWCCI and Edmonds Community College are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied by the student bloggers.

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