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Emily Manuel

Thinking about my life, I sure have come a long way… Since I was young, my life has not ever been easy. We grew up in a household with my father being an alcoholic. He was very abusive mentally and physically. I remember there were times when my brother and sisters were so scared to get off the bus because we never knew what state of mind our father was in. Well, we knew, we had just hoped for the best. So, at 15 years old I decided acting out was the best thing for me to do if my parents didn't care about me, then I didn’t care about me or the decisions I made anymore. I just quit caring about my life; I started using drugs and drinking so that I could forget all the bad things that were happening throughout my life. I would often ask God what did I do to deserve this life. Why couldn’t I have a normal childhood like all these other kids, or even be just loved by someone? So, things just spiraled way out of control. I was hooked on cocaine at 15 years old. I knew I had a problem and I wanted help. So, I went home and at the time I had been running the streets getting into trouble with the law. My mom went to a lawyer and had me emancipated where she had no more custody of me. So, I went over to my mom's house and asked her for help. I told her I was on cocaine really bad and needed the help to get off. I can remember this as clear as day. She turned and looked at me and said, “That was not her problem and I needed to help myself.” From that day forward I knew I was gonna have to take care of myself.


I have learned and grown so much from these experiences and without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thanks to HEROES Foundation of America, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to start over and build me a new life, a life that I’m proud of, a life that will end the vicious cycle of old patterns repeating themselves. I am pushing myself to succeed more than I have imagined, and it feels great. I still have a lot to learn but with your help I could achieve a lot more. I’m looking forward to getting my Bachelor of Science Degree. To my Future self may all my Dreams become a reality!!! Here I come.



Emily Manuel

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