The Power Of One

What makes a person trust enough to risk everything? I never understood the meaning of that word until I applied to law school. I couldn’t afford the application fee or the LSATs (which cost nearly $1000 dollars). But I knew it was my rescue. I was living in a trailer park in South Tucson barely scraping by and too proud to ask for help. The night before, I fell asleep to bullet spray.

This was not my life. This was not my destiny. This was not who I was meant to become. In pouring rain I stood shivering in the Admissions Office at the University of Arizona’s Law School hoping to speak to the director. She didn’t have to see me. She didn’t have to accept my application. She asked me why I wanted to become a lawyer. I thought of my college philosophy class—the professor asked one question of us: “What is Risk?” and the student next to me scribbled on his paper, “This” and handed it in. I handed the Admissions Director my essay. I told her I believed everything happened for a reason, even this. She smiled and I turned to leave knowing she was my last chance. I really needed her to believe in me, a stranger. I needed her to trust me. A clap of thunder rattled the windows. “Are you signed up for the LSAT?” she asked me. With my back to her, I shook my head, ashamed that money could derail me.
“There’s one extra spot, it’s yours if you think you can do it.”

I was about to protest, but I can’t afford it …then I listened to her words. She never asked me if I had paid the fee or if I had studied for the exam. She asked me if I thought I could do it. She offered me a chance to change my life’s direction. She saw something in my eyes—not desperation not sadness, but fierce determination. She believed in me. She inspired me to aim so high it hurt to breathe.