When Cynthia Gallardo, a high school student from Des Moines, Iowa, was seven years old, the police raided her home and arrested her father.
"They had him in handcuffs, and he was laying on the kitchen floor, and we were looking at him," Cynthia said. "My mind just went blank. I started crying."
Life has been difficult for her and her mother since then, and while Cynthia pushes herself to go above and beyond in school, instability in her living situation and violence at home make it difficult for her to stay ahead.
"We would move every month, or every week, here or there, and [my mom] would have fights with her boyfriend, and get beaten sometimes," Cynthia said. "We would have to make reports to the police... I was scared."
Despite her difficult situation, Cynthia is determined to graduate, and says she finds strength in her one-year-old daughter.
"I turned 17, and I wanted better for my daughter. So I push myself."
Watch the video above to hear Cynthia tell her story, and visit the "Undroppable" YouTube channel for more videos.
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