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The Positive Influences of Family

The following is an essay written by a graduating senior in the Johnson Scholars Program, a college readiness program that is a partnership between the School District of Palm Beach County, Take Stock in Children Palm Beach County and the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. We will feature other student authors in the coming weeks.

“The people who influence you are the people who believe in you.” —Henry Drummond

From the biological side of things to how we are nurtured, a lot of what goes on in our childhood influences how we turn out as adults. In my case, my parents, my family gatherings, and my church community have turned me into who I am today.

white and red led signage with love family laughter text

Photo by Sara Wether on

I think my parents have been the biggest influence on me as I have grown up. My parents have always been extremely unselfish. They never really went to clubs or parties because they had children. They have always kept us in a safe environment. By my parents’ hard work and dedication to provide, achieve and sacrifice (even necessities for themselves) they have influenced me and made me realize that I have to work hard and dedicate myself so that I may achieve higher standards in life.

Furthermore, probably the strongest influence in my life is the family in which I grew up. Throughout our lives, we are often influenced and taught by many other factors, but nothing compares to the positive influences of our own family. As a child to young adulthood my family has always had family gatherings for every special occasion or just to come together and have fun. These gatherings have taught me how to care, love, and appreciate the wonderful gift I have because my family has influenced the way I behave, feel, and act towards the outside world. My family is a gift in which I reap the benefits.

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Photo by Jaymantri on

To summarize, for those of us who grew up in an influential and inspiring family, we try to achieve our worth and value in our hectic lives. When we are born, we are not born with a set of values and expectations, so we learn them from our parents who raised us. My parents have influenced my identity and my self-worth, demonstrated ethics to do the right things and have inspired my drive and forged my path to become who I am today.

Amya Cunningham is a recent graduate of Palm Beach Gardens Community High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where she participated in the Johnson Scholars-Take Stock in Children Palm Beach County college readiness program.