Homeless To UConn: Joseph Marinia's Dream Stephanie Barnes

Imagine living in a world where uncertainty is the only thing of which you can be certain. Being in a situation that leaves you wondering where your next meal will come from, or if it will even come at all. Now imagine living in such a world as a child. This is the plight of 18-year-old Joseph Marinia of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

From the beginning of his high school career, Joseph faced a reality that many could never imagine, let alone survive. Although he could never be absolutely certain of where he would live, he never allowed his circumstances make him unsure of his goals and how he would reach them.

Joseph faced many obstacles on his road to educational success, including being jumped by three fellow schoolmates, an infection in his knee that removed him from school for a number of weeks and balancing an extremely heavy load between work and school. Through all of the downs, Joseph was able to keep his head up and work even harder than normal through the hard times, in an effort to reach his goal of attending college. Making the honor roll consistently throughout his high school career, Joseph was given the opportunity to start college coursework during his junior year, which he eagerly jumped at. He excelled in college classes while continuing to excel in his high school classes as well. This semester, Joseph attends the University of New Haven with hopes of eventually transferring to University of Connecticut to attain his PhD in pharmacology. He is concerned about the cost but is more focused on just getting through his current classes and continuing to grow.

Joseph understands that nothing worth having comes easy and seems willing to work hard if only to show others that anything is possible with willpower and drive. His glass stays half full regardless of the circumstances presented and he prides himself on being a strong person in difficult circumstances.

“I’m just a simple nobody coming up in homelessness, making something out of my life,” he said. “I’m like that underdog and I’m becoming top dog.”

“If I inspire just one person―I don’t care who it is, any age―to make a difference, my goal is achieved.”

With such a beautiful attitude, the support of his family and friends, and the ability to keep his eye on the prize, Joseph isn’t going to have any problem making it to that PhD.

Featured image via huffingtonpost.com

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