Gillian Glass

See below for a link to Gillian’s audio file.


A Mother’s Influence

Throughout my high school years, I have been asked at least four times to write about a person who I look up to, or who had the most significant impact on my life. The answer has always been my mom. From a young age, a strong work ethic was instilled in me as one of my core values. Growing up, my mom did not have the most luxurious life. My grandfather worked two jobs, and my mother’s siblings had to work as migrant agricultural workers to make ends meet. They were the people picking cotton and working in orange fields. Through all their trials and tribulations, they made it through. Fortunately, I am undoubtedly blessed with a wonderful life, but the struggles my mother and her family faced are unforgettable. Vince Lombardi once said, “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” My maternal family is proof of this, and every time my life gets hectic and I feel overwhelmed, I think of them and how important it is to keep going and keep working. I know I may be a bit biased, but my mother is one of the hardest working people I have ever been around. She inspires me every day to be better, and not just in academia, but as a person. 

One of the most admirable qualities my mother possesses is her selflessness. As most people know, I rode horses competitively for many years. My mother is not an outdoorsy person. She hates dirt, bugs, and tall grass. The horses involved all of these things. For my sake, my mother subdued her distaste and embraced this special sport that I loved oh so much. She always made sure that both my horse and I had everything we needed, even if it meant sacrificing her paycheck every week. One memory that always sticks out is when she offered to clean the poop out of my horse’s stall. It was at a show, and like always, I was running late for my ride time. Tack was being thrown around. Screaming was the only form of communication; clothes were being tossed over stalls, but in this chaos, my mother offered to do the one thing she said she would never do, clean my stall. Watching her struggle to clean the stall without getting near the poop has left a permanent image ingrained in my brain that makes me laugh on my worst days. It was this moment that I knew the love she holds for me is truly immeasurable and that one day I hope to be just as selfless as she is. 

My mother cares deeply for everyone she meets. She has the biggest heart, and sadly, it has been broken many times throughout the years. Unfortunately, hospitals have always been part of our lives. Diabetes and heart disease commonly plague my family, and my grandfather’s diabetes always had him in and out of the hospital. I watched my mother silently suffer for years, making trips back and forth to Florida to visit her sick dad. This medicinal involvement, paired with the value of hard work, has inspired me to pursue a future degree in medicine. I want to serve others. I want to be a positive difference in a world full of negativity. I want to care for others the way my mother cares for me, and the way she cared for her father. Watching her has genuinely influenced me for the better. She is the example of the woman I strive to be one day. So, mom, if you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for the priceless life lessons, being there for me, endlessly supporting me, showing me what it means to be genuinely kind-hearted, and lastly and most importantly, thank you for teaching me to be strong and authentic. There is no one like you. 

Please click on the arrow below to hear Gillian’s Senior Reading.