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.
February 1998, San Francisco red-light district. Sounds of video games filled the air in a Broadway Arcade as tensions brewed between two Triad groups. A gun shot was fired and heard by the Asian underworld of San Francisco. The SFPD Asian Gang Task Force quickly reacted to a Seven Star member firing a fatal bullet at a Hop Sing Boy. My cousin, Seven Star member (Censored name) , was a suspect and was eventually charged with 10 years for manslaughter. He passed away shortly after his release from prison.
Every adolescent of Chinatown that were neglected of love and support from their parents joined gangs to find acceptance, money, and protection. I was part of this group until age 12, when i matured and realized that the path as a Triad member wasn't glorious. People die, families cry, and life just keeps passing by. Hanging out with negative associates was not very smart on my part. I decided to isolate myself from these negative aspects of my life by breaking the social norms of Chinatown, which were going to Galileo academy, joining a gang, and giving up in school. I went to George Washington, a school on the other side of the city because i viewed it as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf.
"You did an outstanding job, here take this card and tell your school advisor to contact me." My supervisor at the 2009 PGA president cup at San Francisco praised me for my work. It was my first time volunteering and i already felt good about myself and what i was doing. From being despised to being praised was a huge step for me. I felt that the GWHS Eagle Pride Club provided what i needed, a method of giving back to society as a way to repent for my previous naive idiotic decisions of participation in criminal activities. I changed my membership to the Elite membership in Eagle Pride and dedicated into representing this club by volunteering at events that donated all profits to funding researching cures for disease. Eventually in the club, i recruited a group of friends from Washington, whom also wanted to volunteer. We became known as "Johnny's group", this entitlement made me feel proud because i was influencing others to do something productive with their time. For every event, i would wake up at 5 AM to dress up, ride the bus, and start to volunteer at 6 AM. It was challenging to wake up so early in the morning, but i saw it as a way to change myself, to remind myself that i owe this to society, to give back for my mistakes.
I spent my my previous two summers volunteering at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital. I knew I was only capable of doing simple tasks like office work, but to my surprise i was given an opportunity to do much more. I was able to interact with visitors and patients to see if they would like some books, newspapers, magazines, snacks, or beverages. There weren't any special rewards, but it's nice to see a few smiles now and then. I enjoy being appreciated for what I am doing instead of being viewed with fear. In the past, the parents of classmates would view me with disapproval. They would tell their child not to associate with me anymore.
To pick up the pace of my studies, i challenged myself to college level courses in 11th grade, knowing very well that i didn't process the ability to pass these classes. It was extremely challenging for me, the workload, the bombardment of tests, and the concentration require for these courses exceed what i experienced in the past. Fortunately through effort and motivation, i passed these college courses with Bs. I passed because i reminded myself constantly that this is another milestone that i need to pass by to prepare myself for the future.
Laws are created to protect lives and property. I committed small-time crimes in the past against the law. Giving myself an opportunity to repent by promoting the well-being of humans made my conscience feel good. That's why I decided to be an enforcer of the law, to be a lawyer so that society is governed under order and law. I want to maintain this feeling of appreciation from others when i aid them.
Shred This Please