What does it mean to be disadvantaged?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by SarahL, Mar 23, 2002.

  1. SarahL

    SarahL Senior Member
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    I didn't apply as disadvantaged, but I'm curious as to whether I should have. My parents decided after my freshman year that I shouldn't go to college, so I had myself declared financially independent and supported myself through college. Does this count? It doesn't appear anywhere on my application, and I'm wondering if it's at all appropriate to bring up at an interview.

    If I get in (no news yet), will I still have to put my parents' income down on my financial aid statement? They won't be contributing.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. UCLA2000

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    Disadvantaged...any difficulties from age 0-18 that interfered with the pursuit of a quality education. Sorry but paying your own way through college is something that many of us do. That does not qualify you as disadvantaged.

    On the other hand if you were put out of your house when you were 16 and had to support yourself it would be a different story.
     
  4. SarahL

    SarahL Senior Member
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    Thanks, UCLA2000. There's a little more to it than that, but I'm sure I don't want to bring it up if I don't have to.

    Have a good weekend!

    SarahL
     
  5. spicoli

    spicoli Member
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    I qualified as disadvantaged.

    Grew up in bad neighborhood. Went to sorry a$$ high school which only averaged like 820 on the SAT, IF they took it. Grew up with AFDC and SCHIP benefits until HS. I've been shot at, stabbed, hit with a chain, and been in the direction of a drive-by at my HS. I have a big family and none of my parents or brothers went to college.

    Oh, I paid my way through college. That was easy.
     
  6. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life
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    Damn where I grew up, disadvantaged was having a brand new Accord as your first car instead of a BMW or Benz. I still remember those bastards in my neighborhood laughing at me! Oh well, I roll on dubs now, so I'm coo. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> :D
     
  7. Dr. Don

    Dr. Don Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by spicoli:
    <strong>I qualified as disadvantaged.

    Grew up in bad neighborhood. Went to sorry a$$ high school which only averaged like 820 on the SAT, IF they took it. Grew up with AFDC and SCHIP benefits until HS. I've been shot at, stabbed, hit with a chain, and been in the direction of a drive-by at my HS. I have a big family and none of my parents or brothers went to college.

    Oh, I paid my way through college. That was easy.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">damn kid, and I thought I had it bad. I also qualified as disadvantaged. Grew up in a sorry neighborhood. Out of my freshman class which started with 800+ students, only 250+ students graduated... alot of them had to take summer school after our senior year to complete their requirements for graduation. I'll say that about 20-30 of the students that graduated went straight to college. Never received AFDC and SCHIP, not because we didn't need it, but because of my family's residency status, so we didn't qualify...I personally have never been wounded, but have been shot at (drive-by). I had someone take out a knife at me...fortunately nothing happened because the cops flashed their lights at us and we had to run (that was the only time I was glad to see a cop!). I also paid my way through college and had to take a semester off school to work full time. I wasn't born here, so needless to say I had to learn a new language and pretty much a new culture, which if you think about it's really a mixture of cultures...european, indian, african american, etc. Anyways, I feel that our experiences are what makes us unique and the fact that we are still here, sets great examples for future pre-meds, and students in general from disadvanted backgrounds.
     
  8. piggy

    piggy Junior Member
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    I think if you have to question whether you're disadvantaged or not, chances are, you probably aren't. Just an opinion, not trying to come down on anyone. Spicoli and Dr. Don, I love reading posts from people who've overcome such hardships to make it to this point. Makes me relieved that i'll have diverse classmates. Good luck to both of you.
     
  9. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member
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    disadvantaged status= discrimination!

    why is there special applying for "disadvantaged" anyway? I grew up in a "disadv" house by the standards used, but I'm not looking for any handouts or special status..and neither should anyone else.

    owcc16
     
  10. Doctora Foxy

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by owcc16:
    <strong>disadvantaged status= discrimination!

    why is there special applying for "disadvantaged" anyway? I grew up in a "disadv" house by the standards used, but I'm not looking for any handouts or special status..and neither should anyone else.

    owcc16</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">come on. It's good for you that you don't seek special treatment, but I think poeple growing up disadvantaged are exactly that--at a disadvantage when gaining their education. For example, if you had to work all through college, it would be harder to get good grades. If you cannot afford to go to an ivy league private school, you are at a disadvantage when being compared to harvard med school applicants. I think it's good that people are recognized for having to work harder to get where they are today. It is a positive attempt to put people on the same playing field, IMHO.
     
  11. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member
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    actually doctora foxy,

    the true level field is going by the person, and not their history. If I seek special treatment due to the lemons life threw at me, then I would be asking for the adcom to discriminate against you people who didn't have it as bad as me. Life isn't fair...we should accept that, and move on! The MCAT is a good level field predictor..no one will ever be equal, true, but we shouldn't bring others *down* in order to level the playing field!
     
  12. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member
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    might I also add that this is America..the land where hard works gets people ahead in life. I personally know some ppl here on SDN (they know who they are) who had disadvantages (or so I've heard) to the extreme, yet worked their asses off in order to get to where they needed to be . Only in America...
     
  13. Doctora Foxy

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by owcc16:
    <strong>actually doctora foxy,

    the true level field is going by the person, and not their history. If I seek special treatment due to the lemons life threw at me, then I would be asking for the adcom to discriminate against you people who didn't have it as bad as me. Life isn't fair...we should accept that, and move on! The MCAT is a good level field predictor..no one will ever be equal, true, but we shouldn't bring others *down* in order to level the playing field!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I see your point, but I don't see it as bringing non-disadvantaged students down. I just see it as bringing disadvantged student up. If I lose my spot to a "disadvantaged" applicant, they still probably earned that spot, and not because they are disadvantaged. Even if they have lower stats, they would still add a type of diversity and maturity to the class--not to mention unique life experiences.

    So to sum up <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> , I see your point but am sticking to my original opinion :)

    best of luck to you

    Foxy
     
  14. spicoli

    spicoli Member
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    Will the person who can spend 1200 on an MCAT prep course do better than someone who can't?

    Will the person who had a father/mother with a good job/stable income do better than someone who didn't?

    Will the person who went to high schooll where the teachers set out EXPECTATIONS that they go to college do better than someone who was just expected to "get by"?

    Think about it.

    And, BTW, I like to believe that I got in on merit.

    PS: I have been shot AT. Never shot. The stabbing was an accident. He threw the knife at me to scare me. Like I said, I didn't have the brightest people around me.
     
  15. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member
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    spicoli and friends,

    life isn't fair. However, this is America, where one can work *on their own* and get what they need. This discrimination against students brought up in good situations is disgusting and dishonourable. Anyone who plays that card should be ashamed!

    owcc16
     
  16. fluffyj

    fluffyj Local Chipmunk
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    The MCAT isn't the true "qualifier" because a great score from someone who had to work to be able to afford food, and then study whenever they could isn't the same as a great score from someone who could study all day, and afford to take Kaplan/PR.
     
  17. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member
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    fluffy..

    money isn't everything. Are going to start giving ppl special trt who had a grandma die? Who had a cat die? Who had indigestion on MCAT test day? Where will the insanity stop? I hope you see my point.
     
  18. piggy

    piggy Junior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by owcc16:
    <strong>might I also add that this is America..the land where hard works gets people ahead in life. I personally know some ppl here on SDN (they know who they are) who had disadvantages (or so I've heard) to the extreme, yet worked their asses off in order to get to where they needed to be . Only in America...</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Yeah, Spicoli is probably one of those who had to work his a$$ off to get to where he is. And no, I don't see the point to your argument; how is having your cat die comparable to trying to get home after school without being shot at? And are you that bitter that people would use 500 words more just to explain how their life experience has affected them? No one's stopping anyone from claiming disadvantaged status, so you didn't, good for you, it still isn't discrimination. Take a chill pill and go pick another battle.
     
  19. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by piggy:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by owcc16:
    <strong>might I also add that this is America..the land where hard works gets people ahead in life. I personally know some ppl here on SDN (they know who they are) who had disadvantages (or so I've heard) to the extreme, yet worked their asses off in order to get to where they needed to be . Only in America...</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Yeah, Spicoli is probably one of those who had to work his a$$ off to get to where he is. And no, I don't see the point to your argument; how is having your cat die comparable to trying to get home after school without being shot at? And are you that bitter that people would use 500 words more just to explain how their life experience has affected them? No one's stopping anyone from claiming disadvantaged status, so you didn't, good for you, it still isn't discrimination. Take a chill pill and go pick another battle.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">piggy,

    point is that everyone, both rich and poor, has problems. Who are we to judge who had the worst problems, and slant the "game" of admissions in their favour? That's the point.

    owcc16
     
  20. piggy

    piggy Junior Member
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    OK, dude. I won't argue with you anymore cuz you really need to get back to your Kaplan practice tests. Your break is up.
     
  21. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper
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    I may have been able to apply for disadvantaged status, but I didn't. From birth to the age of 10, my parents averaged a combined income of less than $15,000 a year. This had to be spread thinly among the 5 people in our family.

    I also was mugged at my high school (yes, a good...scratch that...GREAT public school). Stupid me...I chased them down and got my stuff back! <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> Take home point for anyone who might mug someone: If they are wearing track shoes and just got out of track practice, they may be able to catch you. Thank goodness they didn't have a weapon. They just punched me in the face and ran with my stuff.

    I've always shared the lemon to lemonaid philosophy that owcc is talking about. I would never have been able to go to college if I didn't have a scholorship, so I worked to earn a full scholarship. I had to pass on better schools for this, so I suppose it put me at a "disadvantage". I'm not going to claim it, though. If you want to...do it! If not, you can mention your hardships in your personal statement.
     
  22. spicoli

    spicoli Member
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    The point that I am trying to make is this: if you and another applicant had stats that were equally admirable, but the other applicant had to work harder because of a disadvantage that was inherited, are you truly equal?

    You can't measure the quality of a doctor quantitatively as much as you can through his/her life experiences. (I realize this is a very sweeping generalization, but I do believe in its strength.)
     
  23. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by spicoli:
    <strong>The point that I am trying to make is this: if you and another applicant had stats that were equally admirable, but the other applicant had to work harder because of a disadvantage that was inherited, are you truly equal?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">If two people had the same exact GPA, MCAT, extracurriculars, LOR's etc, and one was well off while the other was disadvantaged growing up, do you automatically accept the disadvantaged applicant? I mean, there's a lot of subjectivity involved there, isn't there? Who's to say that I, as someone who was very fortunate growing up, wouldn't have been able to overcome the same obstacles if they were presented to me? Aren't those who weren't disadvantaged being discriminated against in some fashion with this kind of reasoning? I mean, I can only overcome what's placed in front of me. I'm not gonna move from the suburbs to the ghetto and try and prove that I can overcome to the same extent that others have. IMHO, those who've had a good life thanks to their parents shouldn't be punished for it anymore than those who've had a bad life for circumstances beyond their control.
     
  24. SarahL

    SarahL Senior Member
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    Wow, I'm sorry all these things happened to the people who've posted on this thread. I choose not to discuss the other reasons why I thought I might be considered disadvantaged...just too hard to write about.

    I just want to say that I admire everyone here for overcoming adversity and wish all of you the best of luck!!

    SarahL
     
  25. spicoli

    spicoli Member
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    "The Man, The Myth, The Legend." -- I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am also very impressed with your accomplishments and believe that you will become a great physician.
     
  26. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member
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    So how does the applying as a disadvantaged student work? Do you mark it on your amcas application and every school will know that you're disadvantaged, or do you have to do that individually through the secondaries? I've always thought that being disadvantaged in some way would come out through your personal statement? (not too familiar w/ the application process)
     
  27. Doctora Foxy

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by meddude:
    <strong>So how does the applying as a disadvantaged student work? Do you mark it on your amcas application and every school will know that you're disadvantaged, or do you have to do that individually through the secondaries? I've always thought that being disadvantaged in some way would come out through your personal statement? (not too familiar w/ the application process)</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">you can designate it on your amcas application, and discuss it in your personal statement if you wish. Some secondaries have a section for you to explain if you have overcome anu hardships or to explain anything bad about your application.
     
  28. Dr. Don

    Dr. Don Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Papa Smurf:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by spicoli:
    <strong>The point that I am trying to make is this: if you and another applicant had stats that were equally admirable, but the other applicant had to work harder because of a disadvantage that was inherited, are you truly equal?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">If two people had the same exact GPA, MCAT, extracurriculars, LOR's etc, and one was well off while the other was disadvantaged growing up, do you automatically accept the disadvantaged applicant? I mean, there's a lot of subjectivity involved there, isn't there? Who's to say that I, as someone who was very fortunate growing up, wouldn't have been able to overcome the same obstacles if they were presented to me? Aren't those who weren't disadvantaged being discriminated against in some fashion with this kind of reasoning? I mean, I can only overcome what's placed in front of me. I'm not gonna move from the suburbs to the ghetto and try and prove that I can overcome to the same extent that others have. IMHO, those who've had a good life thanks to their parents shouldn't be punished for it anymore than those who've had a bad life for circumstances beyond their control.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">using reverse psychology...I see.....look, who is to say that a person with a 43 MCAT and 4.0 GPA will become a better doctor than a 20s MCAT and average GPA person....please kid!!! for those of you who have read my posts since day one, you all know I don't have the high MCAT scores or high GPA...but I doubt that I will drop out of medical school...I doubt that if I take a class with all the 43 MCAT people and 4.0 GPA students, I will fail the course. Here is something my cousin told me when I started thinking about medical school,
    "THE HARDEST THING ABOUT MEDICAL SCHOOL....IS GETTING IN!!!!" let's just stay away from the diadvantaged/AA topic, we'll continue going in circles here...some people agree, some people don't, some people start getting hurt, etc.
     
  29. Dr. Don

    Dr. Don Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by The Man, The Myth, The Legend:
    <strong>For those that are interested, I grew up poor, very very poor. My father spent a lot of time in jail for dealing meth and after my parents divorced (I was about ten - he tried to burn the house down with us in it :confused: ). I went to a podunct highschool where there was absolutly no emphasis put on learning. I dropped out after my sophomore year (17 years old). I got a job and an apartment (on my own). I took the GED and ACT (scored a 26) and decieded to go back to school (19) and become a doctor (hopefully). Got accepted to a local private college and immdeiatly started taking the hardest courses and a full load. I have a 4.0 and i've worked my ass off for it. I am by no means anywhere near applying to med school but when i do will I say i'm disadvantaged? NO, because I don't think of myself as disadvantaged and I don't think my background makes me any better than the guy next to me. Life isn't fair, we should just make the best of what we're dealt and not dwell on the past. I don't want my personal doctor to have gotten into medschool because he had a hard life, I want him to have gotten in because he was damned good and I don't want to get in because i've had a rough life.

    my 2 cents</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">congratulations, you will be a great MD...but now I'm thinking would you let me (a disadvantaged applicant, soon to be pediatrician) be your kid's doctor? :confused:
     
  30. piggy

    piggy Junior Member
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    [/qb][/QUOTE]If two people had the same exact GPA, MCAT, extracurriculars, LOR's etc, and one was well off while the other was disadvantaged growing up, do you automatically accept the disadvantaged applicant?[/QB][/QUOTE]

    It would probably come down on the interview. I mean, if the disadv. applicant was some pompus ass who can't get over the past and is bitter at the world for his/her misfortunes, I highly doubt that person will get in. But if the two had equally great personalities and compassion, then I would think the disadv. applicant would get accepted. If you were on the adcom, wouldn't you want to accept the person with a more impressive bkground if that was the only thing separately the 2 applicants? Whoever said life is unfair is correct; it's sometimes even unfair for those who've grown up with a silver spoon in their mouth. Yes, the whole med school process is subjective. Disadv. status is a small part of the application, really, it is. whether or not you officially claim the status doesn't make a big difference because your life experiences will be documented in other parts of the application. Ultimately, your life experiences do matter, not whether you check the little disadv. box. Too bad for those who had a good life, huh.
     
  31. 90250

    90250 New Member

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    I have been registered for a while, but this topic forced me to reply. Do yo want to know what being disadvantaged means? Try sleeping with a shotgun underneath your mattress, while some fools are trying to blast and kill you. What about having 6 brothers and 1 sister, all involved in gangs and drugs? What about having your dad as a gardener working 60 hours a week to bring home 15 gran a year? Or having your mom stay home because your sister is in a vegetative condition because they were unable to afford healthcare and they were forced to take her out of the country, where they could afford it. Or what about having to work 30 hours a week while earning your degree?
    I agree life isn't fair, but that is why some people who have lower MCATs and GPAs get in, while those who have higher ones do not.
     
  32. MacGyver

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    Just for the record, I'd MUCH rather have a rich background than have disadvantaged status. In my opinion, they dont equal each other out in med school admissions.

    If you are well-off, you can do whatever you want as far as extracurrics because you have no need for a job. Or if you want a job, you can be very picky about which job you take. You can spend thousands on MCAT prep courses, go to 3rd world countries without worrying about finances, and in general pursue the kind of extracurrics that a lot of the top med schools like to see. You have MANY more options for molding yourself into a competitive applicant than you do if youre disadvantaged. I think being disadvantaged probably counts for a small plus on the application, but lets face it, it doenst come anywhere NEAR the benefit that having 18-22 years of a privileged lifestyle can give you.

    If you dont believe me that some of the top schools look for particular experiences, please go look at the student list for any top 10 school. I guarantee you that MANY of them have gone to 3rd world countries. I'd say out of all top 10 school students, thats definitely the #1 thing they share in common.
     
  33. quaileggs

    quaileggs Senior Member
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    MacGyver-my thoughts EXACTLY!
    I have no problem agreeing with you when you talk sense.
     
  34. Why don't you just put all that stuff in your personal statement. They're going to be impressed that you overcame all that garbage you had to put up with and it won't look like your looking for a handout. Hey, but what do I know.
     
  35. dukee

    dukee Senior Member
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    growing up while a family member has cancer. Having a gun held to your face because you are a different color. Sleeping in hospitals because your father is too far away from home to go back home. Not having enough money to go to college. Etc.
     

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