I look into my future and I see myself as a contributing member of my community. I may not come from a family where my parents are producing six to seven figure incomes. I cannot promise anyone that I am going to transcend from rags to riches. However, I do plan to make a positive mark on society. John Doone said, “No man is an island entire of itself.” Therefore, with the help of my community and the support of others around me, I plan to continue my education and give back to the world through my profession.
My parents always told me that the road to success involves hard work and determination. Through them, I’ve learned that to become an achiever I have to uphold these qualities. I didn’t take these words seriously until the end of my junior year of high school. Even though it would be redundant to express how much my parents mean to me, I must confess that it took me 17 years to appreciate them for what they’ve accomplished and who they are today as a result of their hard work.
Coming from humble beginnings, my parents obtained jobs of common immigrants and maintained them in an effort to support the family. For years I have seen my father, the electrician, and my mother, the dietary aide, dedicate countless hours to ensure our well-being. Meanwhile they compromised their true happiness. With their lives as an example, I have decided that I want to contribute something to the world and be happy doing so.
So with my head held high, last summer I started my journey of making my mark in the streets of Midtown New York. I filed countless amount of applications for summer employment with hopes to gain some experience and to garner some skills. As time went on, I began to realize that many people were losing there jobs due to the economic downturn, but I didn’t lose faith. Instead, I went where I knew others needed me.
Volunteering became my new found passion. I got involved in an organization at my school called the Program for Exceptional People which aides and provides opportunities for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. This prospect gave me the opportunity to gain insight into a whole different world that I wouldn’t otherwise experience. In this program, although these people are disabled in different ways, they’ve learned to deal it which has taught me accept myself for who I am. Others might find volunteering to be an act of self-gratification and some might truly enjoy it. It might even help those who lost touch with the reason they originally started their field of work. No volunteer experience was better than the other. They were equally as important in shaping me. From serving as a recruiter for my high school to servicing adults with disabilities, I can hear my parents in my ear reminding me about what it takes to be a hard worker. While at the same time, I remain determined to share a smile; be happy and make a difference. Volunteering also brought me to understand that when support is missing from the lives of the less fortunate it impacts their goals and decisions. Nonetheless, it is inspiring to see what one can achieve despite what is lacking.
Comparatively, my experiences thus far in life encompasses that of the infamous Alexander Graham Bell quote: “When one door closes another opens.” I’ve come to appreciate life and all its adversity. I know that there is only so much more in store for me, acceptances and rejections. However, I am ready and I am excited to continue into the next step of my journey-college.