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Former PHS student Kiana Paulino reflects on her long, winding road.

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My Story

Kiana Paulino poses for a photo for the PHS yearbook. The former Eagle finds herself moving again, in search of stable family support.

Kiana Paulino poses for a photo for the PHS yearbook. The former Eagle finds herself moving again, in search of stable family support.

Kiana Paulino poses for a photo for the PHS yearbook. The former Eagle finds herself moving again, in search of stable family support.

Kiana Paulino poses for a photo for the PHS yearbook. The former Eagle finds herself moving again, in search of stable family support.

Kiana Paulino, Reporter

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My name is Kiana Paulino. I am a 16-year-old sophomore at Poinciana High School. Since the age of six, I have been through a lot of life-changing experiences, from moving around to losing the most important person in my life.

In March of 2015, at the age of 12, I lost my mother. Out of all the things that could have challenged me, that was the biggest obstacle in my life. It was so hard to cope with the loss of someone so influential in my life. Not only did I lose my mom, but I lost my friends and the school I was newly getting used to.

As any father would, my dad tried to provide the best plan possible to the change that occurred, but moving to New York was part of the plan. I was uprooted and in a new school, with new people and new teachers.

I only lasted two weeks there.

In those two weeks, I had no motivation to do anything. I felt so worthless. All I wanted was my mom. I felt as if I was alone in the world now that the one person who cared for me all my life was gone.

After those miserable days of school, I decided on my own to move back to Florida with my grandma. For the past three years, I lived here in Poinciana. There were a lot of problems, and things I can’t begin to explain, but I stood my ground because I was scared of change. I was scared of losing people I loved all over again.

Moving had always been something I despised. I hated making new friends every year. I hated having to adjust to a new environment in general. That’s the reason I abhorred the idea of moving. I was just simply scared.

At the age of six, my parents divorced. I don’t remember that time much, but I do know it impacted my second oldest brother a lot. My mom always tried to keep us in good schools when moving around, but also tried to move places within her budget. She also was in a toxic relationship which caused us to move between homes.

On October 24 this year, I made a huge decision about my life. I wanted to feel like I had the support system I needed and yearned for. So, I decided moving in with my father would be in my best interest. It is one of the hardest decisions of my life because not only am I leaving a school that I absolutely adore, but I am leaving my best friends and my boyfriend.

Although this decision has been hard, I try to think of the positive things that will come out of this like an amazing support system from my dad and step-mom or a job.

These past three years have been a rollercoaster I would never wish on anyone. But there is something I will never forget my mother saying that always sticks in my head: “Everything happens for a reason.” And with all the bad times, I’ve always somehow had something good come out of them.

I have been highly committed to being an honors student, being selected to join the National Honor Society, and thinking about my personal needs. My mom is the reason I try so hard to have the utmost success and even though she’s not here physically, my belief is she’s here in spirit.

 

 

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