Hello, my name is Louie Romero Jr.  I am a senior in high school, I will graduate May 2017.  First I want to thank you for the opportunity apply for this scholarship.

My entire life from kindergarten up to being a sophomore in high school, I have struggled to be focused and getting good grades never came easy.  My parents of course thinking it was me just being a boy through elementary school.  Well by the time I was in the 5th grade my mom finally decided to talk to my doctor about how I can’t stay on task the only time I could focus was during sports or playing video games.  At this time I was prescribed ADD medication and I guess looking back now I may have been that student who struggled with ADD, never a hyper student good thing for my teachers just a dreamer.  As time goes on through middle school I spend every extra minute I have to meet with teachers to maintain my grades so that I make the Dean’s List, that was my goal.  I always felt this would prepare me for high school keeping such high expectations for myself.  Little did I know that high school was not as I expected.  Trying to juggle my school work with wrestling.  That wasn’t the biggest struggle but now I losing grip of being that straight A student, struggling with comprehension.  There wasn’t a pill that could fix this.  It wasn’t until the very end of my sophomore year that my mom really was concerned because now Spanish an elective class, but a needed class to be eligible for DI and DII colleges, I was really having a hard time.  The teacher was one that just pushed but didn’t stop to see that something might be wrong that I literally can’t comprehend the lessons enough to get by, and failure is not an option in my book.  My mom said she remembered as a child I didn’t pass a couple of hearing tests and just thought back then that I was being a typical ADD boy not paying attention in dismissed it.  I know my mom felt terrible and prayed that she was wrong so immediately we made appointments with Children’s Hospital.

I remember thinking this isn’t happening I just determined my career path would be to become a fire fighter, I can’t have issues with my hearing it is imperative that I have my hearing for this type of job, just for the safety alone.  Of course you know the outcome by this essay.  My results were that I was officially identified to be hearing impaired and needed hearing aids in both ears.  I won’t forget the look that my mom had I literally felt terrible for her even though I was the one with hearing issues she felt so guilty and this is a lady who has sacrificed every part of herself to make sure that my sister and I are successful in all we do.  Well it felt like a sucker punch to my stomach I can’t lie.  This seemed difficult to process.  Then the worst part is it is genetic.  So my entire life I have been hard of hearing and we just didn’t know.  Surely, I passed hearing tests along the way through elementary school and I could hear and the crazy thing is I have a talent for music, I can play guitar by ear and I can produce music.  God has blessed me throughout my life with all these talents and all I could think of is didn’t God know that this will hurt my chances of my dream of being a fire fighter and my college how will this all work?

Well I started my junior year with a new outlook on life and walking into school with my new hearing devices I like to call them.  I made the decision I could be this victim and play it all out and just be that kid who had everything going for him and now just because there is slight obstacle just forget about everything you worked for.  For me it was a point in my life that I decided you can take this and learn and push for what you have busted your rear end for or let this little impairment defeat you.  Well I refuse to be defeated, I train 6 days a week as a wrestler this would be my 14th year of competing in the sport.  The blood, sweat, tears real injuries have never held me back.  Being hearing impaired won’t hold me back either.  Once I started classes as a junior I walked in proud with my head up and humble like game day “let’s do this”.  In each class was like something new for me I was hearing almost too good, adjusting was to my hearing devices took time.  However, the crazy thing is my comprehension was improved at least by 90% if not better.  Probably still a bit ADD, but with most of my teachers on board, my family support this year was moving along like a piece of cake and I became a student that my peers looked up to especially in the area of students who were also hearing impaired, they all looked up to me.  This was a great feeling and believe it or not my confidence level has been increased to a degree because my learning ability had increased meaning that I can be whatever I dream to be because I am way smarter than I ever gave myself credit for.  My GPA was right where it needed to be, I was in season for wrestling ended up in the finals, could life be sweeter.  Well I lost the finals, but getting there was worth everything.  I have one more year I remember just being so down but so motivated to get this title of being a State Champion before I graduate.  Back to the regular grind, training, classes producing music with my partner AJ Black, he is my best friend and fellow wrestling brother.  We have grown up together and over the course of everything taking place we both decided to make a name for our music since were also live DJ performers, and we called ourselves “Living Dead”.

I know that sounds like really crazy what kind of name is that and what music is this kid talking about and he has hearing loss what is he thinking.  Well a couple of things first my parents and I invested in ear plugs that are for musicians like myself to protect my hearing.  Trust me I won’t let the hearing I have go it means everything to me.  And the type of music we perform is dubstep, global sounds.  My talent is very broad as I can also produce tracks for singers of all genres.  Together AJ and I would take the world by storm he was a literal genius and I had the music talent with is brains my talent and our drive we could do this.  Of course this is all during my spare time which is “very little”.  March 31, 2016 I am off to Virginia Beach since I qualified as a runner up at my state I now am ready to get an “All American” title.  Could this year be any better?  AJ and I texted the entire plane ride from DIA to VA, all the way until lights out.  Now my preparation is get my mind ready for these matches against the best in the country all music business to the side for now.

April 1, 2016 I wake up warm-up on the mat and what was so weird about this day was the atmosphere was just different can’t grasp what exactly nobody was acting right, I thought I did something but my dad and coaches were trying to wait until I wrestled to avoid undue stress.  I see my buddy AJ texted me at 11pm and at around 9am (we are 2 hours ahead of Denver) I text AJ and say “what’s up buddy, sorry had to go to bed last night”.  AJ didn’t respond not at all like him.  Next thing I know my dad and the coach ask me to go on a walk with them outside.  Here it comes I knew it I did something just didn’t know what.  Coach Tony looks in my eyes and tells me “Louie, AJ passed away this morning”.  I hear those words so clear I don’t have my hearing aids but I know his words were not misunderstood.  A few minutes went by like hours, I looked at the coach and my dad and said “what did you say? Tell me what you said again”.  My coach said “Louie I am sorry buddy but AJ shot himself this morning at around 3am”.  All I could do is fall to me knees praying immediately that this was a foul April fool’s joke and they were kidding, please let this be a joke.  Needless to say this was no joke, I tried to wrestle I won 2 and lost 2 I was out.  Honestly, that All American title meant nothing to me at this point.  I just had my soul sucked from my body.  This couldn’t be we just talked about Red Rocks, and on Monday April 4th it was my 18th birthday, all these things we talked about.  This was barely Saturday, we fly home Monday morning.  I never thought in a million years that I would be flying and the minute I landed I would go straight to my best friend, my brother AJ’s funeral and I would be speaking at it as well.  I am wrote the entire weekend trying to find words for something like this isn’t normal.  I am just barely 18 and why me, we had plans.  My reactions were so selfish, so angry so hurt.  Even through all the hurt I have done my best to make this be a positive life experience.  But there is no positivity in your best friend committing suicide.  Back to school, nothing mattered grades went down nobody cared at school neither did I.  Although, April 19th was a big test day ACT’s the moment of truth.  Something about this day I just prayed and asked God to guide me and I spoke to AJ and said hey Brainiac can you be with me I need you.  Well it worked several weeks later I received my test scores and my comp score was 27.  Just perfect enough I don’t have to retake it.  My grades at school still suffering but don’t think I wasn’t trying I just couldn’t comprehend spending every extra minute I had to get my grades where they needed to be.  Well I pulled through my grades ended up good, except for Math.  Without my mind being present Math was more difficult.  I still passed.

This is much more than a thousand words, but now as a senior I have found losing your best friend especially to suicide is something that will never go away but I am doing what I can to keep his spirit alive by continuing to perform under our duo name.  During my concerts I talk about suicide awareness.  Each day AJ is with me and pushing me to live my dreams.  I can’t let anything hold me back after all my life has presented to me.  There is no obstacle to big that I can’t overcome.

As a senior in high school I am enrolled at Front Range Community College and taking EMT program.  When I graduate I will have 12 credits and if all goes as planned by the fall I will attend a University with EMT certification so that during college I can work and volunteer as an EMT.  I also am a volunteer at our local hospital in the ER to obtain my hours necessary to complete the EMT program.  Plate is full, wrestling season is a few weeks away but I can do this.  I have strong family support and nothing has come easy for me and I can’t expect anything will be handed to me.

I hope you had time to read through this essay, my life story shortened with so much more to say.  Should I be awarded your scholarship, you will find that I be an outstand ambassador for your organization and always upheld to highest standards.

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