“Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work” (Horace). From a young age these words have resonated within me. They taught me to give anything I attempted my all. Starting in October I’ll be the first member of my family to ever attend a four year university, and not just any university but one of the most prestigious universities in the world, UCLA. Two years ago I had no goals in life, but now my burning desire is to hold a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. But I don’t want to end my studies after receiving a Bachelor’s and end up becoming another “code monkey”. Upon graduating I will be enrolling in a Master’s program in Computer Science with an emphasis on Artificial Intelligence. From a young age working with cutting edge technology has always been a dream and now that I’ve been given the opportunity to accomplish my dreams, failure is not an option. Since first hearing the title “Ph.D.” I always thought it was for ridiculously intelligent people, but now, through mentoring and counseling, I’ve come to realize that those aren’t the only traits of someone who holds the title. To me someone with a Ph.D. has become a title synonymous with someone who doesn’t want to stop learning. Growing up I hated school; math made me cry and always saw myself as unintelligent. Now I found my place in computer science, which requires much math and yet I don’t want to stop learning.