9. How do you think your future education will impact you, your family, your community, and the rest of the world?
The money my mom earns are pennies compared to Bill Gates' fortune; however, my will to pursue college never falters. My family, especially my grandfather, motivates the will in me to carry on. I would enter college and fulfill my dreams for him and myself. In this heart of mine, I know that won't be a rocket scientist or a terrorist who kills millions of people, but I can change the world. For me changing the world is saving one life at a time.
A few years back, my grandmother broke the news to us that Grandpa has cancer. They decided to keep the news from him; believing that in his situation, ignorance is bliss. By then, I understood enough of what was happening. Grandpa and I have a solid relationship, and the Grandpa I know is strong and imposing. Seeing him in a new light - the vulnerable side - made me want to pursue medicine. From a distance, I wanted to wind back time: to stop the origins of cancer, and all degenerative diseases; however, reality can't lie. I can't keep looking back; the only step to take is forward. If I become well-educated in the world of health and sciences, my efforts in saving lives would not be in vain. I hope not only to stretch out a hand to my immediate relatives, but also to the rest of the world.
I am not Wonder Woman who could save the world in a jiffy. But if I become successful after receiving quality education from colleges and universities, I hope to open up a clinic for people of low or no income. I, myself, have experienced how to live a life without medical assurance. There are more people who aren't as lucky and blessed as I am, and they deserve these medical outreach that can only be funded by non-government organizations and willing individuals. By helping these people, I somehow changed the world; or for starters, my community.
My future education has a direct effect on my family, for they are on the top of my list. If I, with God's will, do well in the profession I wish to pursue, I would elevate my family from the heap of poverty. This is one of my life-long goals: to help my family. I have been a role-model to my younger siblings, and being on the path of college is like seeing a beacon of light in the darkness. Many of us are fearful in even just stepping on the road to college, hearing the difficulties that one has to go through and the challenges that one should surpass. I would break the bondage to blue-collared employers, if I managed to get higher education. I would be able to earn wages that are higher than the minimum, and hopefully, will be able to support my siblings' education in college, too.
My ultimate goal for my education is to reach college, and finish medicine. Many people have attested my decision and will to pursue such a career, for I look very weak and vulnerable. My outer appearance is a great façade, for the core of my being is strong-willed and persistent. I hope that I would end up being a stronger and wholesome individual who wouldn't fear the trials in life. Many insults have been thrust upon me and my family; in the end, I wanted to prove these people wrong.
I don't want to be one of those doctors who work only for all the money they could get. I have experienced both lives: the rich and the poor. And living poorly with a happy family is better than living rich and alone. I don't want to be part of another statistic showing how doctors are greedy for more money. I want to be exceptional: the doctor who helps the sick without asking anything in return. I admit that I wouldn't be as kind as the Good Samaritan, but my goal would always be saving one life at a time, for it can change the world.
10. Describe what, if any, exposure you have to college through friends, relatives, or siblings who attend (or have attended) college. Have you visited their campus? Have they discussed the college application process with you or shared aspects of college life with you?
At this very moment, I am standing at the end of the bridge connecting high school and college. I am at the brink of completing my secondary education for the second time around. I was a graduating student once in my former school; however, the need to migrate here retained me in high school. Back in the Philippines, we didn't undergo middle school education; we just go straight to high school: a reason why I have to go back two spaces on my game board.
I've done all the tedious college applications before and took my college entrance examinations in two of the most prestigious universities in the Philippines. I've visited their campuses for summer camps, too. I am very familiar to their curriculums and tuition fees, for I've attended many college orientation events sponsored by these top-notch colleges. However, I have only a little background information regarding the universities in here. I research the top medical schools to find which my mom can afford to send me. I only went to colleges near my county like Willow International and Fresno State College. Some colleges went to our school last year and gave us some briefing to their school requirements. Since traveling is too costly, these conventions help students like me a lot.
To arrange my flight to college, I rely on two accessible ways to get the facts straight: my counselor's advice regarding college selection and the internet. College is a world of new dimensions. It trains individuals for real life, encourages self-reliance and new innovations, requires one to step out of the norm, and lets one think outside the box. There will be numerous changes that one should adapt to. As of the moment, research is the only guide for me for the crossroads that lie ahead.
11. Which two colleges are you most likely to (realistically) attend? (Schools which you feel qualified for, would be accepted to, and can picture yourself attending.) Provide a detailed action plan (steps you would take) as how you would reach this college goal. (Include information or resources you'll utilize, how you will prepare through study, who you will seek advice from, and how your family/teachers/community will support you.)
Alex, the lion in the movie Madagascar, had a birthmark on his right paw shaped like the African continent. When his parents saw this, they pictured a clear future for their only son. Alex inherited this birthmark from his dad who was the current alpha of the pride. They will dub him the next alpha if he surpasses certain obstacles. Alex, however, had a different idea of success: being the greatest entertainer of Central Park Zoo in New York City.
My parents also saw a bright future ahead of me when my first cry resonated in the operating room. They envisioned me as a successful person no matter what path I choose to take in the future. My parents, though, thought of only three paths for the so-called "any path": medicine, engineering, or business. Fortunately, the road I'm taking is leading to what they want, too. I chose medicine: it would certainly make my family proud, and I would be able to help other people as well.
In the near future, I envision myself entering the doors of UC Berkeley or UC Davis. According to my research, UC Berkeley merges with UC San Francisco for their medical curriculum. Learning this, I didn't hesitate to make more inquiries. I hold a great trust to the faculty of UC San Francisco - they were the ones who conducted a neurosurgery for my grandmother's tumor. I am currently working on all the requirements to get in. I'm planning to take my SATs by March to get a head start for my college prerequisites. I've borrowed a few SAT preparatory books from the public library and some AP exam books, too. Taking four AP classes may help me gain college credits. Mom paid only five bucks for each exam compared to the mandatory eighty-six for other well-off students. Hopefully, I pass the exams. My current GPA is acceptable for any UC, but, getting into college isn't pure grades. Community involvement, volunteer, and co-curricular activities are also key steps to get accepted by these high-ranking colleges. I wanted to go to Ivy League schools, too; I am currently getting more information about it. Even if deep inside me, I know that there are better and smarter students than me who would get in, I wouldn't think twice in submitting my application. I'll never know what it's like unless I try.
As of UC Davis, my preparations are the same. Since their necessities are very similar to UC Berkeley, I am hitting two birds with the same stone. My problem as of the moment is getting scholarships. Since every UC is public-funded, there would be a slim chance of getting a full scholarship. If I get scholarships from private institutions, my mom would allow me to go study there, even if it's out of the state.
When Alex's parents knew about his real career, they were appalled; however, our parents are always there to back us up. Whatever my decisions are, my mom is always there for me. She's always my biggest fan. Initially my mom had a game plan for me. She's planning to send me back to the Philippines to study med-school. It's cheaper there, and I don't need to pay for a dormitory. I could live with my grandparents and take care of them at the same time. In order to fulfill my duties as a citizen, I would just go back here every year during the summer vacation. However, I weighed the pros and cons of that decision. If I leave and graduate there, I would have a hard time getting a job because I have a foreign diploma. I persuaded my mom to give me the chance to study here; "I could get grants from sponsors," I attempted. To fulfill my promise to Mom, I have started applying for scholarships through the internet.
My teachers are essential to my success as a student, too. Their willingness to help me out every time I have an inquiry builds a strong connection between us. I have teachers whom I barely knew who were willing to give me letters of recommendations. I am considered fortunate to be living in such a healthy and helpful environment. The approval of my family, teachers, and friends has made me continue to reach the stars. Even if they are far beyond reach, I would continue to shoot for them, for nothing can hold me back except my fear in God, and them.
12. What will you do this summer if you don't attend the SMYSP Summer Residential Program?
When the humid air blows across my face, happiness would swell up inside me: summer is here. Summers indicate that I would engage myself with the many hours of community involvement opening up to new experiences and insights. I typically help my grandfather's business by keeping watch of the store grounds.
When I was young, a seed of ambition was planted into my mind - to become "that lady with the white coat and a stethoscope on her neck". Serving the community in my own little ways had always been a part of me. I plan on spending my time volunteering at the St. Agnes Medical Center and Woodward Park Regional Library. Just a summer ago, I volunteered at the library twice a week to promote reading as a hobby. There were prizes for these children who commit themselves; the prize could just be a pencil or an eraser, but the important thing is that these prizes motivated them to engage into a new field of learning.
Also, I have a chance to shadow a phlebotomist who has offered to teach me bits and pieces of the procedures they do, the equipments they use, and the tests they perform. If given the chance, I might also visit the emergency room and learn some first aid lessons with the paramedics. I am also planning to tutor incoming freshmen algebra and geometry over the summer not only to interact with children my age, but also to learn more about their cultures and traditions.