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Overcoming Gun Violence Tragedy

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“If I came from that to where I am today, there’s no way anyone can stop me.”
– Vada Vasquez, Teenager, Fine Arts Student, Gun Violence Survivor

Nobody is perfect and nor ever will be. We all went through different phases in life which can affect us in a positive and negative way.  Especially, if a huge incident occurred, it could have made an impact into where you stand today.  It all goes down to change; for example, if my family never immigrated to the United States, I would have never be where I am today, graduating high school with a Regents Diploma and attending college as an undergraduate student in Fashion Marketing.

I came across this heartwarming, inspiring video of a young college student name Vada Vasquez, who is fine arts major at LaGuardia Community College. In November 2009, at the age of 15, Vada was nearly killed by a stray bullet in the Bronx. It hit her in the head, ripped through her brain, and left her in a coma. After a lifesaving surgery, and months of rehabilitation, she made a miraculous recovery! She learned to walk and speak again and using art as a way of expressing her feelings. She kept a photo of her reconstructed skull on her iPhone as reminder of what she had overcome.

Life is full of surprises! The moral of this story is, don’t let anyone or anything put you down. Always believe in yourself and reach for the stars. Vada never gave up on herself, and she expressed her feelings through art, and that became her passion. I really admire her for that and this is a great lesson to teach to all high school and college students. I highly encourage young people to never give up on life no matter what, stay in school, get involved in your community, develop skills, and seek opportunities, because in the end it will be all worth it!


Adversity can come into our lives in any shape.  Check out ways to conquer adversity from my fellow iaam blogger.

“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”  - Dr. Seuss


Victoria Ganesh

New York City College of Technology – Brooklyn, NY

Follow me on Twitter @VictoriaGanesh

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