Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
I remember gradually becoming exactly what my peers and community expected me to become. I was deceived into believing I should take pride in the fact I had been reared in a community plagued with racketeering.
I lacked an incentive to do well in school because, I was oblivious to my household's instabilities, particularly financial instabilities. In the year 2002, my eldest brother, my super hero, lost track of his devotion to the vices and addictions our community placed before him. Soon after, he fell ill and was declared schizophrenic. That year, I matured, and understood the duty to redeem my family fell on my shoulders. It was at that point, I made a promise to myself, to be a leader, to strive for greatness, and to save my family from this inferno we call home.
My brother was my role model, not only was he an exceptionally great athlete, but an eagle scout as well. Unfortunately he sought to fit in, and slowly began to quit everything that made him admirable in my eyes in order to become socially accepted. Yearning his approval, I began to do the same, I belittled myself to please my peers. Up until my second year of middle school I went to school primarily to hang out with friends who would spend the entire school day pulling pranks and students and even teachers. My brother was on a downward slope, until finally, I saw him collapse. His diagnosis with schizophrenia, intensified the additional conflicts my family faced: strained family ties, police confrontations, and above all, the financial instabilities. What hurt the most was watching my brother being dragged away by the police. Quickly, my perspective on the pride of East Los Angeles changed. It became evident that the majority of the problems we faced were derived from my neighborhood. Their existence had only been detrimental in our families growth. They were audacious, stopping at nothing, taking my pets, my car, and finally my brother right from underneath us and mocked us insisting on keeping neighborly relations.
Although I had lost faith and confidence along the way, I was reinvigorated by my parent's tenacious will. My dad had lost his job and car, yet we never saw him worry. On the contrary, he insisted that everything would get better and always provided for us in abundance. My mom, full of compassion, wanted nothing more than for us to forgive our neighbors, and merely adapt to our new scenario. In addition to my family's support, I could always seek refuge at the church. Only at church could I have learned to take life's adversities as a blessing. All in all, I had been molded by both the opposing forces, church and the ghetto. Each igniting a spark of motivation in me to set myself apart from the rest of my peers and set goals only someone who has hit rock bottom can attain.
Since then, I have developed a thirst for knowledge and hunger for success. My brother's downfall along with my parents unremitting support, has inspired me to be all I can be, and not let myself settle for less. I am currently captain of the varsity basketball team and received the Honorable Mention award my junior year. In addition I have received the Ap Scholar award for my success on the Advanced Placement Exams. This however, is merely the beginning for I aspire to achieve much more though college. My ultimate goal is to major in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. Besides finding the subject absolutely intriguing the course will help me develop the skills, background and knowledge I need to be an effective professional in our rapidly-changing global economy, and in turn provide me with the tools necessary to give my family the life they deserve.