1. I had a part time job all through High School to help support myself.
2. I paid for my own 4 year college education, BFA from SUNY Purchase (every red cent).
3. I've lived on my own, paid my own rent since I was 24.
4. I served as a UN peacekeeper in Bosnia for the US Army, completed 3 years of active duty and was given a Honorable Discharge. (I even got medals).
5. Turned down an answer key to the final written test at the New York City Fire Academy. Despite being a minority, I was never given or taken any favors in the entrance written exam, physical testing, and various testing. As a matter of fact, I had a harder time because entrenched groups felt neccessary to harass me, which continues to this very day.