My Leader 

Without her, I don’t believe I would be here, I think to myself. She is my mentor as well as my mother.  My mother is a hard worker!  Despite not coming from an affluent family, my mother built her own dynasty and managed to get a doctorate degree while raising three children, one of whom has Down Syndrome. My mother is graceful as well. She always has everyone’s best interests at heart and is ready to listen. Last but not least, my mother provides me with guidance in my daily life. No matter what I face in life, I know I can always rely on her!

A while back my mom told me, “You may not see it, but there is sweat, tears, and blood on that wall!” She told me those strong words once, while pointing to her wall of master’s and Doctoral Degrees. Those words have stuck with me ever since that day. Those words inspire me to work hard in my everyday life. My mom went through a whole tornado to get where she is now! I’ve seen my mom stay up and wait for my younger brother with Down Syndrome to go to sleep so she could take tests or study. For her to sacrifice her sleep like that proves to me that she is a wonderful mother and a hard worker! My mother is also a hard worker because raising a child with Down Syndrome is a full-time job within itself.  Down Syndrome is a condition that some kids are born with. No matter the hurtful comments my mom has received, she kept my brother and we are now a complete family. My brother David can be difficult to attend to at times but my mom always manages to get through to him! 

One of the friendliest, most extroverted persons you will ever meet is my mom. My mother instilled in me the value of kindness from a young age. My mother is always gracious, considerate of others, and generous toward the less fortunate. She is the definition of graceful.  She used to carry a water bottle case and distribute water to homeless people back when she worked more in the city. My mom always pays attention to other people! My mother always makes sure that her loved ones and those around her are happy. Just the other day, my cousin came over and my mom asked him, “Hey, what happened to your evil eye bracelet?”  My cousin told her that it had broke and of course before he left my house, my mom went into her office and gave him the only evil eye bracelet she had.  When my mom did that gesture it really did make his day. I have learned that being graceful doesn’t require much, just love and respect!  I have also learned that the littlest things go a long way.

And last but not least, my mother is a leader by showing me guidance. There isn’t a single recollection from when I was a child that doesn’t involve my mother providing me with direction. My mother has assisted me in escaping difficult circumstances. She always offers me excellent advice whenever there is trouble around me. My mom also guides me by always doing the extra mile to help me out. If I am stuck on a math problem she will find a way to help me even if she doesn’t understand herself. No matter what I know, I can look towards my mom to give me guidance!

My mother will always be my leader! I am writing this essay the day before my mom’s birthday! I was going to buy something, but this essay really hits home. My mother is a hard worker, graceful, and always shows me guidance. I am beyond grateful for my mother! I am so lucky to have an amazing mother like her to be able to teach valuable life lessons. Mom, if you’re reading this, just know I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOU AND I LOVE YOU!

Dalilah Perez – St. Laurence High School – DMSF Class of 2026

Picture from: Valenty