Sweat and studies. These have been the defining factors in Mike Robinson’s life. Brought up by his grandmother and mother in a small townhouse in Virginia, he learned the values of hard work early on. Born to an uninvolved Jamaican father and a Trinidadian-American mother, he understood that for people like him, success was determined by hard work. As a child, Michael never saw much of his mother as she was usually working, supporting him and his siblings. This left his grandmother as his caretaker. After school she would always make sure he did his homework before any other recreational activities. Michael was taught to “work now, play later.” This life lesson would stick with him and motivate him for years to come.
When Michael was in the sixth grade, his mother entered a long period of unemployment forcing his family into financial instability. After having to sell their home, he and his family transitioned from the houses of family friends to a hotel and ultimately to a homeless shelter. This was a truly humbling and eye opening experience. On his bus ride to school, Michael would see his schoolmates leave their seemingly perfect houses to get on the bus whereas he knew he had just left a shelter. To try to avoid feelings of humiliation he would ask to be dropped off a block from the shelter on the evening bus ride. This experience made Michael hungry for success.He realized that he had to make it in life so that neither he nor his family would ever be in that situation again. He realized even more that it started with school and hard work. He went about taking advantage of every opportunity allotted him and focusing much more on his academics.
As a senior in high school, Michael has done just that. He now lives in Maryland with his mother and grandmother. His attitude towards success and hard work has not changed. Outside the classroom Michael is a real competitor. He is the president of his school’s student government, which this year had the most successful blood drive in recent history, a trombonist in his school’s award-winning music program which most recently boasts an award from the Grammy Foundation, a two-way starter on his varsity football team (earning him All-League honors in Montgomery County), a member of the National Honor Society, and a regional runner-up and state-ranked wrestler. In the classroom, Michael is just as competitive towards his studies. He is a Maryland Distinguished Scholar, an AP Scholar having scored the highest grade 5 on multiple exams, has a 4.0 GPA and has a 4.67 weighted GPA from all his honors and advanced placement courses. In light of all of this, Michael understands that he has not even scratched the surface of what can be accomplished with a thinking mind and determination.