Leyden Orth

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


The Best Advice I Have Ever Been Given

Watching your mother go through immense heartbreak at the age of nine really changes you as a person. When my father left, it destroyed my whole family. My mother stopped eating, I became calloused, and my brother was beyond confused. Divorce is not something a child expects, or even thinks about. With the divorce came the loss of a mentor. I would never again have two parents, but rather a mother trying to fill the shoes of both a mother and a father. 

After the divorce was finalized, my mother was left with very little money or hope for the future. She did not know how she would continue paying for my school or how she would put me through college. She knew she had to find a way though, she wanted me to have as many opportunities as I could possibly have. She decided to retire from teaching and start looking for another job, so that she could have two paychecks. Luckily, she found a job as a personal assistant right off the bat and started to work again. Although she struggled to make ends meet, she never showed it. My mother always kept her head high and made sure my brother and I never went without. As she became more independent, she realized you can never rely on anyone for anything. Always make sure you can provide for yourself and your children without the help of another. As she realized this, she made sure to teach this to me and my brother. She has always told us to have ambition and not rely on someone else for our happiness or income. I believe this is the best advice I have ever been given. I always hear girls saying that they just want to marry rich and not have to work, but what happens when those rich husbands leave and you are left with nothing? You never finished college, you never worked, and you never became independent. Through this hardship I realize that I have grown as an individual and come to value my mother’s hard work in raising two children by herself. 

Living through this experience has made me who I am today. With this I have had to go through things many of my peers have never had to experience. I feel that this has made me mature more quickly and has set me apart from other people my age.  As I have matured, I have become much more independent and reliable. My independence has resulted from trying to take some of the stress of my mother. The fewer things she has to worry about, the better. I have also become reliable in another effort to help out my mom. By helping her, I have helped myself. I now have qualities that will help carry my throughout life. Though I would have never picked my situation, I am almost glad it happened. It ended up making my family stronger and has helped make my brother and I become better people. 

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