This student piece was written by Robyn Gulley, a student at Ramsay High School. She has a long list of notable accomplishments and accolades and tells a very compelling story about her travelling experiences, her education, working with Ed, and her future goals. Read on to see what she had to say.
My name is Robyn Gulley and I am currently a senior at Ramsay High School. Seventeen years ago, June 18, my twin sister and I were born in Houston, Texas at the South Memorial Hospital. Early during my childhood, I learned that life had its seasons. When I was 9 years old, my mother got pneumonia & her immune system was not strong enough to fight it off. The last time I saw my mother breathing she was not only in a lot of pain, but she could barely breathe so we rushed her to the emergency room. Little did I know that I’d never get to tell her “I love you” or even “goodbye” again.
After she died I was confused about how two little girls could be raised by just their father. Though I love my dad a lot, I longed for the mother-daughter outings, girl talks, advice, and just learning how to be a young woman in general. It was then my aunts’ decision that my sister Randi and I move in with one of them. The summer of 2008 is when Randi and I moved to Birmingham, Alabama to live with our Aunt Deborah. Fortunately my Aunt Deborah was not only my mother’s sister-in-law, but her life-long best friend as well.
Life in Alabama was much different from life in Texas, but over time we adjusted. I feared making new friends, being ten hours away from my dad, and being in a completely different school district; however, many of my fears were overcome very quickly. For instance, other than my religious faith, I have a loving family accompanied with supportive friends who have always pushed me to be the best I can be. By the time I entered the seventh grade at Rutledge Middle School, I became accustomed to my new life, and I even had a new source of identity: I was elected into the National Junior Honor Society and graduated as the valedictorian. After four years of living in Birmingham, my sister and I decided to go ahead and graduate from high school in Alabama.
Initially we had our hearts set on going to P.D. Jackson Olin High School; however, after being accepted into Ramsay High School, I decided to embark on my high school journey there. Now I was faced with many new fears, because not only would I be starting all over, but my sister and I would not be going to high school together. Like middle school, though, my vibrant outgoing personality helped me meet many new people and quickly feel welcome at Ramsay. Very soon I became a member of the Student Government Association as well as other organizations like the Concert Choir, Future Business Leaders of America, and the Drama Club. Even with many responsibilities, I maintained a GPA of a 4.125 and I was accepted into the International Baccalaureate Program. With a new academic commitment, as well as my commitment to the student body as the Vice President, I found myself very busy. Later in my junior year, my classmates and I competed in the We the People competition, in which we advanced to the national competition, and competed in Washington D.C. As my senior year was underway, I was elected as the President of the Student Government Association.
This summer I got the chance to join the Ed network as a connector. Being a member of the Ed network has been a life impacting opportunity, because I have met a variety of people – like Ed staff member Marshall Pollard – who truly want to make a difference in students’ lives. More importantly during one of the connector trainings, I met a foster child who happened to be having a bad day. Though she did not want to tell me what was wrong, I assured her that if she prayed everything would be alright. Then I gave her a hug that lasted for a very long time and I told her that when she woke up in the morning, no matter what negativity was around her to say that “ today is going to be a good day.” She thanked me and told me that I had made her day and hearing those words truly warmed my heart: I knew then that I desired being able to make a positive impact in people’s lives.
After I graduate, I plan to attend the University of Texas to major in accounting. With the financial business background, I plan to further my studies in law school. After college, I not only want to be a corporate attorney, but I also want to start a nonprofit organization called “Get up and Believe” that will focus on raising children’s self esteem and lowering childhood obesity rates.
Robyn – we thank you for your willingness to work with us, especially with your busy schedule! Ed knows that you have a very bright future ahead of you and we support you all the way. Good luck!