The Month of June brings forth the celebration of Father’s Day. I wanted to pay homage to all the Fathers out there. These men can be biological, step, grandfather or a father figure to you. I was fortunately to have the later, a father figure, who helped me to have confidence in myself and dream big. I am paying him homage today because he made a difference in my life. He helped shape and mentor me, showing me that I could be someone and go to college, I was smart enough. This man believed in me, when others told me I would not be successful in going to college. This included my biological mother who told me I would be a failure in college. As well as, a high school counselor who told me my test scores are too low, and college would be too hard for me (even though I had good grades). Despite the negative comments, I was determined to try. I knew it would be hard but deep down I felt I could do it.  This man cheered me on the entire way and was a great support system. He took me to tour a University and kept telling me I could do it. I was offered a scholarship to go to a community college and he told me, you can do go down this road, but I see bigger things for you. I was a bit taken back, I was thinking but I got a scholarship? He must have seen my face and told me to not be scared that I was ready for this and I could do it. He told me I could figure out the money and it will work out. I am glad I listened and turned down that scholarship and went to the University. The first semester was defiantly hard, as I had to learn how to study. I also found out I had dyslexia, which was the reason I had a hard time taking standardized tests. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop me, I knew I had to success because I didn’t want to let down this man, this was my father. I never did tell my father that I was on academic probation that first semester, I felt ashamed. How could I tell him this after how much he believed in me? I knew I had to work harder, so I was determined and I got on the Dean’s List the next semester and several semesters following that. During this time, he always encouraged me to dream bigger. I eventually went on to graduate with my bachelors, then later with a Masters. He was the one that supported me through the years and believed in me. He was the one that cheered me on when others didn’t. The day of graduation, I still remember it like yesterday. He was the one I gave a hug to first, when I came out of graduation. Time just seemed to stand still, as he told me how proud he was with tears in his eyes. I just burst into tears because I felt that love from a dad to a daughter. This man helped me see a bigger path than I could have. He helped me on this journey that shaped my life and taught me to be kind to others. He taught me that no matter if you are blood related or not, a father is a father. So, I want to say Thank You to the man that I call my Father. Thank you for mentoring, guiding, teaching and loving me. Even though you are not here on Earth, I know you are looking down from the Other Side and still cheering me on! Happy Father’s Day!