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Plotting My Escape | Who is Tina Sampay

No one in my family has a college degree. College was never something that my father drilled into me as a young child. There was never any talk of college.

College was an escape route that I envisioned one day while sitting on the block that I grew up on–60th & Broadway–which is between Gage and Slauson in Los Angeles. Not to mention I was awol-ed at the time from my foster home and had missed a whole semester of my sophomore year of high school. I swear, it was an epiphany from God. I was sitting on my grandmothers block amongst the usual sights of prostitutes and elders strung out on drugs. “Crack hoes” roaming the streets, looking strung out and desperate. So much for role models. You know the usual sights. Total urban hell. I went into this thought process about how when you are born, ‘aint shit given to you’ but school and public education. It’s mandatory that we go to preschool, kindergarten, elementary and high school, with hopes of going to college.

I realized in that moment, that college was not something that was talked about a lot in my neighborhood or my household.

I suddenly had this burning desire to go to college. I wanted to go to a 4-year college, to literally escape my environment and fears of being forever trapped in the inner city.

I realized this slowly diminishing, window of opportunity called High School.

Once I embedded this thought in my mind of attending college the rest was truly history and I was accepted into 8 universities.

Thus proving, if you have a dream, you can rise above your situation. The first step is knowing what you desire and the next step is planning, then execution. All fueled by dedication and determination. My recipe for success, no matter where you start.

“I see mothers in black cryin, brothers in packs dyin

Plus everybody’s high, too doped up to ask why.”

“Watchin our own downfall, witness the end

It’s like we don’t believe in God cause we livin in sin.”

Tupac-Who do you believe in

About slausongirl

Slauson Girl is a South Central native who has a love for journalism, history and all things Hip-Hop--currently living in Humboldt County. She holds a B.A in Critical Race & Gender Theory & a Minor in Journalism.

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