I’m so honored to receive this award, but the person that deserves to be honored is my Grandmother. When I was born, my Mom was only 17 and wasn’t stable at the time. She was bouncing from house to house trying to avoid being homeless with me. Then my Grandmother stepped in and told my mom that I should live with her when I was around the age of three. As I was growing up, my Grandmother and Grandfather were my major support system, from cheering at my baseball games in the crowds to helping me get the DMSF scholarship. As I was growing up, my Mom still put a lot of effort into seeing and spending time with me as much as she could while being in the circumstances she was in. My Grandfather passed away in 2015. It hit me hard being so young and having to lose a major part of my only support system. As time went on and my Grandmother started to feel a little better, she reminded me that my Grandfather is in a better place and that he is looking down on me and seeing all my accomplishments. As time went on and I continued to grow, my Grandmother is getting older and can do less to celebrate my accomplishments, but I know she does all she can to show her support. Living without my father being present due to being falsely convicted of crimes he didn’t commit and living with my Grandmother made me grow up very fast and made me very independent. My Grandmother reminds me every day that she’s proud of me and that she loves me. If my Grandmother had never taken the step to have me live with her I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. When I told my Grandmother that my school counselor thought I’d be a great fit for Daniel Murphy, her face lit with joy. As we continued with the DMSF application, I got discouraged at times when I knew that hundreds of kids were going to apply. I wasn’t sure if I’d get in but my Grandmother led me to keep a positive mindset and to believe in myself. I wanted to give up when I saw the essays I had to write to get into the DMSF community and told my Grandmother I thought it was too much work, but she responded by saying “No it’s not Xavier. You got this!” That made me have the confidence in myself that I could do it and I did and I have the scholarship now. Think about all the work you’ve put in” I know this was pretty recent, but she deserves to be recognized for staying by my side for 11 years so far and going through all my little and big arguments about new Fortnite skins or just not wanting to go to school. I appreciate everything she does for me even if I don’t always show it, but this is why she’s the most important person in my life and will always be the most important to me.
Xavier Davila – Lincoln Park High School – DMSF Class of 2026
Image: Xavier created this image through Picsart