Unaware of the rigors of the program, I was pressured by my parents and peers to enter the Model United Nations (MUN) at school, which required that I participate in debates. After struggling through two weeks of class, I desperately wanted to drop it. All the students were confident and assertive, and unafraid to express themselves; I, on the other hand, was lonely, shy, and lacking in self-esteem. In time, however, I began to overcome my fear of other people's opinions of me, and eventually conquered my apprehension about public speaking. The conferences we attended over weekends and during school gave me an opportunity to meet new people and to see the various ways people express themselves in speech and thought. Vocalizing my assertions became second nature, as long as I had done my research well and was fully prepared. There was no need to fear anything--least of all myself.
Following my stint in MUN, I pursued more experience in debate by narrowing focus from the international arena to issues that struck closer to home. I founded the Junior Statesmen of America (JSA) chapter at my school. By doing so, I was able to continue pursuing my passion for the subjects I care about the most: leading and inspiring debate on important topics, and involvement in the political world. Most important of all, I was afforded the opportunity to help others get engaged with the issues that affect our nation. I still run this chapter today.
My interest in communications didn't stop there. I decided to join C-HIGH TV, a new broadcasting program that airs every day at my school. I became one of the main anchors. The preparation was always painstaking, but worth the effort. This experience led to my decision to pursue a career in mass communications in college.
Mass communications today are no longer limited to the verbal domain, as technology and visual expression have become inextricably tied to global communications. To gain experience in the more technical aspects of communication, I successfully applied to the school's yearbook team and trained myself in the use of design programs such as InDesign and Photoshop, later taking the skills with me to the Southeast Regional Occupation Program, in which I honed my skills in expert graphic design. These abilities give me a firm foundation in mass communications that I am eager to build upon in a university program.