“I try to make my mom proud with everything I do. She worked very hard to raise us as a single parent. I was the valedictorian at my high school and received an honors scholarship to attend college. I play saxophone, and I’m an engineer. Music is my passion, but I always tried to keep it as a hobby, so I can have a more stable career. Where I come from, people don’t expect much from you.”
“You seem very driven. Did your mom ever sit you down and give you motivational talks?”
“She never had to. Actions speak louder than words. All I had to do was look at her. I saw everything she was doing. She never made excuses for herself. She never tried to find a reason why we couldn’t do something. She could have told us that she is a single mom and music is an extra expense. She could have easily told us that she didn’t have time to take us to practices. She never did. She just made it happen.
If she could give her two kids everything, why can’t I go out and get everything that I want to get?”
Portraits of Boston is a project of independent photographer Ivan Velinov. He is regularly sharing some of his favorite portraits with WBUR. Visit his website to see the hundreds of portraits he has taken on the streets of Boston.