Earlier this year, YoungXGifted’s founder Danielle Tsiba came across a tweet by a 21-year-old soon-to-be first-time dad Anthony Lebario, on the harsh reality of unnecessary high tuition fees in America. Although wanting to further his education, Anthony expressed that he was unable to simply because he couldn’t afford it. See the tweet above.

Many young people face the same problem of not having the finances to pay for their education. Moved by the tweet Danielle decided to contact him and ask if he would be willing to touch deeper on the subject – A subject so crucial to address for our generation.

This is his story and his message to anyone else in the same situation:


Suffer is Passion – Passion is Suffer‏

“My name is Anthony Lebario and I have passion. I’m twenty-one and I don’t believe in luck or giving up – but rather dedication, commitment, resilience, perseverance, and opportunities behind ever challenge and setback. I’m currently a student at Glendale Community College, Phoenix College, and Arizona State University striving for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences and becoming a Cardiothoracic Surgeon. 

I’m the first of my generation to attend college. My parents didn’t graduate high school, which gives me a daily reminder of being grateful and to take full advantage and excel in school and every opportunity that I have earned and worked diligently hard for.

This semester (Spring ’15) is to be when I’m supposed to start university. Living in poverty, almost worry about what the next meal is or am I going to have money to buy gas for the week almost makes me debate – “Should I drop out of school, or put my passion on hold, to work?”. But I have life-changing conversations with people who inspire and encourage me on a daily basis and of course influenced me to stay in school and not drop out, because that’s what society wants us to do – at least people with financial instability like me.

 I enrolled at the university and simply, with financial aid, could not afford the cost of a science class with lab. So, I am going to have to drop out of the classes at the university and be stuck at the same community college I have been at for a long time – solely because for the moment, I cannot afford to take the next step, I cannot afford university level classes. School is easy – classes are easy. What is difficult is paying for school. Most of us work full-time to go to school, but what hurts us to reach our full potential in school is worrying about paying for it, instead of worrying about the exam the next day.”


“We tend to value the word passion and misuse it by complementing it with our values we have strong feelings for. People have a passion for ice cream, their favorite sports teams, and ultimately their career, friends, and family. What you are willing to suffer for day after day, repetition after repetition is truly what your passion is. I’m certainly not willing to suffer for ice cream – but rather, I will inevitably and willingly suffer for my self-development, my friends, family, career, and my time because it will open more opportunities for me and it will give me the ability to reveal and express my true character and become resilient when challenges arise.

Never skip a day just because you are not up for the challenge, lazy, uncomfortable, or fear – you will be behind the rest who are battling for your position. Subconscious setbacks such as watching Netflix instead of doing tasks that will further better yourself and others around you will become an abominable habit. Not going out and getting things you want to have in your life because of discomfort or fear means it is not your passion. If you are not willing to step out of your comfort zone and take the path less traveled, you will be just like most of society, mediocre. Don’t let laziness, discomfort, or fear become a problem – rather, let it be a challenge with limitless opportunities. Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”


“I’m going to be a first-time daddy this April and I’m truly blessed and excited! But, I need to be a role model for my baby, my family, friends, and society and cannot let finances stop me from reaching my full potential, my passion, and my dream. We cannot let these outrageous, ridiculous, unnecessary thousands of dollars for one class at a university stop us from achieving what we are passionate about. 

It is typical for society to be stuck in mediocrity because of finances. Don’t let it be you. I’m unable to attend a university this semester, but this is just a minor setback, I will be resilient – not letting finances barricade me from being a role model and my passion. Please, if you have a passion for something, don’t let anything stop you. Don’t let fear, change, discomfort, or laziness stop you from reaching your full potential and being great. Don’t do the minimum, give a little more, do a little more, and be a little more. Arrive early, and leave late. Don’t do the requirement, exceed, because that’s what you deserve and what society deserves as well. Don’t go to the grave with any regrets or potential left inside of you. Don’t let the odds win, have the mindset of a champion and believe. Do not fall into the trap of being average.

Being average is easy, that is why we see it everywhere. Look at challenges such as, not being able to afford college as an opportunity to learn, plan, and execute so you can afford college. Always look at obstacles as opportunities. Most importantly don’t have sympathy for yourself, you are where you are because of the actions you have taken. Do not take or make any excuses because, in the future, the excuses you make today will have a consequence in the future.

We all have a passion, but what you are you willing to SUFFER for?”


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