Every day, every one, in the world goes through a challenge, big or small. They affect and impact us significantly. They change the way we think, love, act, and approach or do things. Challenges either frighten or motivate us, but they are what make us the person we are today.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work." - Thomas Edison. An opportunity can change your life, but your attitude towards the opportunity will determine whether it will make your life better. I believe you should take the opportunity when you see it.
“You know Kwesi, I only came to this country with forty bucks in my pocket and the clothes on my back and look where I am today.” -- words from my father I thought to myself the first time I saw a rifle plummet down to my head.
Initially after high school I decided to move across the country in order to find myself, my passions, and my career goals. I attended WW-P South in Princeton Junction where many of my friends chose TCNJ. I always loved TCNJ but I knew I wasn't academically ready to be part of the community just yet. I started at a private university in California which turned out to be an amazing experience but also a lesson learned that it was not for me. Everything was new and overwhelming and it was the first time being completely on my own. After completing my freshmen year, I moved to a community college to do better academically and work a little on the side. My passion for pursing a degree boosted during my second community college that I attended.
I believe the turning point of my life began with the separation of my parents. I had always imagined myself living in my native homeland of the Dominican Republic. Yet, my life would drastically change as a consequence of my parents divorce. A few weeks after my parent’s divorce, my mother and I arrived undocumented in Boston, Massachusetts. Thus, at the age of fourteen, I found myself in a new country with few family and friends. The following chapter of my life would require me to not only make sacrifices but also become more independent. The meaning and value for me becoming independent at a young age was twofold: (1) I was able to help my mother financially and (2) I learned the meaning of hard work and perseverance. I recognize that my tangible core values cannot be measured by test scores—though I have done well academically—but by my desire and perseverance to become a successful Latina.
Breathing heavily, a million things run through my mind. I’m dying. I can’t feel my feet. My lungs aren’t taking in oxygen fast enough. However, the finish line and the satisfaction of knowing that I had gotten myself through three miles loom ahead. Clenching my fists, I force myself through the indoor track at JCC. The excitement and pride that I feel when I finally achieve my goal is indescribable.
It was halfway through my sophomore year when my mom and two older sisters sprints down the stairs and storms out the house. Confused and worried, continuing to curl my hair. My mom walks back in towards me with a gruesome look in her eyes. With so many ideas already running through my head, I was notified that my grandmother was killed by my uncle. I cannot even describe my sense of emotion at the time. Confusion, hatred, and hopelessness all merged into one. And all I could think about was just giving up on everything. That is until my pastor said these words that I will always remember; “You're going to get through this, just have faith.” I took in those words and began to put his words into action
Breathing heavily, a million things run through my mind. I’m dying. I can’t feel my feet. My lungs aren’t taking in oxygen fast enough. However, the finish line and the satisfaction of knowing that I had gotten myself through three miles loom ahead. Clenching my fists, I force myself through the indoor track at the JCC. The excitement and pride that I feel when I finally achieve my goal is indescribable.
Martin Luther King once said “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, whatever you do, never stop moving”. When I first read this quote I wasn't able to comprehend it's meaning, after all I was in the third grade. One thing was clear, my admiration for his courage and tenacity to stand tall in the face of fear. That admiration transcended into my own life when I faced the departure of my father, the reality of the poverty my family lived in and my dark history with concussions.
From the very first moment I sat on the piano bench and touched the black-and-white keys, I instantly felt in my heart that my future would be irretrievably bonded to this magical instrument.
Have you ever wished that you could wake up with not a worry in the world? I know I have but life hits hard doesn’t it? As a young child in elementary school or even not in school yet life is easy I would say. The kids don’t have too much on their plate, all they are worried about is nap time, snack time, recess time you know fun thing. Then suddenly you grow up! Remember all the fun times you had? Now it’s all about work time, class time, dinner time heck half the time we don’t even know what bed time is. Although it all may seem scary and hard there are ways to balance school, work and family.
Growing up with my single mother, you tend to witness more things. Because of my mother’s financial situation, if she was offered employment in another place, I went with her. As a result, my mother and I have moved about 5 or 7 times. Each new place was frightening and challenging. Out of all the place, only three have had an impact on me mentally and emotionally.
My college application would be incomplete without me explaining how I got to where I am today. See there for awhile there was a pretty good chance I wasn’t going to graduate. I have a brain condition called Chiari Malformation, which means that I was born with my brain to low in my head and while I was growing it was slowly squeezing my brain. This caused me to have debilitating migraines that made me lose all control of my body. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t move, every muscle in my body tensed up as tight as they can be, and there was nothing I could do to communicate what was going on with me. For awhile doctors had no idea why it was happening just that we had to get it under control soon because the pain was so bad I would almost have a stroke. I still remember how scared I was every time because I never knew if this would be the end for me.
There have been very few events throughout my lifetime that I feel have impacted or inspired me with such noteworthiness and that I know will change my outlook on the world and affect me forever. One of those events occurred when I traveled to Portugal, my parent’s homeland. From this excursion in 2007, I learned the importance of family, most importantly the distant kind. It provided me with a totally different perspective on the world and how large and extended one’s family can really be; even across cultures and continents. I felt so fortunate learning this lesson at a young age and growing to appreciate the ideals I was brought up with as a child. The family I have in Portugal has always been there; however, their faces have aged and
The end of school came eventually, and I abandoned dreams of the sixth grade. Luckily, I was transferring to another elementary school, but this offered me little consolation. Only dummies have to repeat a grade.