When I was a homeless kid, a single birthday gift—a crumpled dollar bill—changed my life forever. I was taken in by foster parents, Steve and Linda, who had eight other Black foster children. They treated all of us like their own, and Steve always made me feel special. He’d often say, “Dylan, you’re just as good as anyone else.”

On my fifth birthday, my biological parents took me away from Steve and Linda. Before I left, Steve handed me a dollar bill and said, “There’s a special message for you written on this bill. Never lose it.” Two years later, my biological parents abandoned me in a park.

At seven years old, alone and frightened, I made a promise to myself, “No more orphanages. You’re going to make it on your own.” I survived on the streets and learned to read and write from a homeless man named Jacob. He always told me, “Dylan, you’ve got to learn this. It’s your way out of here.”

May be an image of 6 people, child, people smiling and text that says 'STRATIVEPURPOSESONLY STRATI na ΟΝΣ'

Years later, I stumbled upon that dollar bill again and read Steve’s message: “You are my son and always will be… With it, you will succeed, but you have to believe in yourself!” That message reignited a spark within me.

I worked relentlessly until an elderly man named Mr. Brown offered me a job. Under his mentorship, I found my path to success. Eventually, I returned to my foster parents and showed Steve the dollar bill. He smiled and said, “Maybe it’s not the dollar but you?”

Through resilience and self-belief, I made it.

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