Twentynine Palms -- Lance Cpl. Adam Sevilla-Sanchez, administrative specialist, IPAC, grew-up in a rough neighborhood and through perseverance and self-motivation joined the Marine Corps.
I grew up in a rough neighborhood in Modesto, California. Where I grew up, there was little chance for any of us to succeed and we had to make our own opportunities. We played sports and did well enough for college, studied hard or we let the streets take us and we joined gangs.
Both of my parents came to the United States from Mexico and I am the older of two siblings.
My parents are old fashioned and they made me work at a young age to teach me to get ready for life because nothing in life is ever given.
I always looked up to my parents but there was one person I looked up to during high school. His name was Edward; he was like a big brother to me and taught me a lot about life.
Gangs were a big issue and it was hard not to get involved in that life. When I started going down that path, I remember he stepped up to me to fight and asked me, “Are you a man that makes his own decisions or a coward?”
At that point I realized what was going on in my life and I didn’t want to be part of a life style that I felt was being forced on me.
I chose to not live my life like that because I started realizing all the poor decisions that the people my age were making around me.
A good release for me is basketball. The first time I played I knew nothing about the sport and I made a fool of myself. I completely sucked but that motivated me to get better.
I also enjoy listening to rap music. Some people scoff when I say that but everyone likes their own thing.
I like it because I can relate to it. I don’t like many of the mainstream rappers but I do like underground rappers because the way they use words is clever and they all have a story to tell, they just tell it in their own artistic way and not for the sole reason to make money.
Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be the best at everything and I wanted to join the military. When you’re a child, it’s just a dream, just like wanting to be an astronaut, doctor or lawyer and things change.
From almost getting sucked into gang life to not receiving a basketball scholarship, I saw very little hope for my future.
Admittedly though, I focused on sports too much and let my grades slip. It isn’t that I’m not smart it’s just I didn’t put effort into school work and that was by far the dumbest decision I have made and I regret it but live and learn. I’m currently going to school and I ultimately I want to work in the medical field.
I felt like there was little hope for me at the time but I saw a commercial for the Marine Corps and I thought why not. Because of basketball I was in really good shape and I had nothing to lose.
Although I wish I could have signed for a different job, I have learned a lot. I have mostly learned how to deal with people from different parts of the country and with different backgrounds.
My Marine Corps career isn’t perfect and my life isn’t perfect but I want to be the best that I can be. I’m always competitive which is a trait I get from my dad.
In Latin American culture we are really hard headed and prideful but sometimes you need someone to check you. My mom is always there for me no matter what and if something I do doesn’t make sense or I make a stupid decision she has no problem telling me how it is.
If I could go back and see a younger version of myself and if there is any advice I want to pass to my siblings it’s that knowledge is power and to do what it takes to become successful. I know I am and I will always have that outlook on life.