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.
While the horror of the Vietnam War was still instilled in their minds, my parents immigrated to the United States twenty-eight years ago. With aspirations to build a communal family, they sacrificed their lives for my brother and me. As the eldest in their families, my parents had to find jobs to support a family of eight.
Visiting Vietnam in the summer of 2004 became a huge catalyst to develop my new perception of life and my dreams. The lack of education, unsafe environment and overruling poverty opened my cautious eyes to the seemingly royal life I had in the United States- all of which I owe to my parents. Unlike my parents, who were unable to receive any level of education, I am given this opportunity, which I treasure. In addition, my parents never stopped pushing me to succeed. Because I was able to witness life in Vietnam, I made a commitment with myself to never give up and to maximize my potential. Learning about my heritage and my parent's struggles inspired and motivated me to take advantage of every opportunity in school and to better my community. As the oldest son, I will be the first generation in my family to attend college. I also hope that I will be a positive influence to my brother so he has someone to look up to; just like my parents with their siblings. As the oldest son, I reassured myself that no matter the struggles and obstacles, I would always put forth my best effort. Although my parents do believe in my goals, I am determined to prove to myself that I can succeed.
My family has impacted my goals to maximize my educational opportunities, to be a leader in my community and to allow me to mature professionally, personally and academically. The voice that my school has given me encouraged me to become an active leader in my community, giving back what has given me to seek being a leader. Since the 6th grade, I have been volunteering for numerous community organizations such as the California Academy of Science Museum. Where I learned about a particular field, entomology. I helped with insects data collection and prepared lab experiments. Volunteering lets me explore the different fields I might be interested in. It gives me an advantage of possible interests in college and what various activities I can join in. Volunteering has taught me that one person can truly make a difference in a community. It shows that everything in life is not all about me; there is a bigger picture to help society and to give back. With my aspirations to make a difference in my community, I believe that with the right education and guidance from this university, I will be able to fully become aware of my calling as a leader.
Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
How does potential define success when there is no determination in profective? I know that I have the potential and ability to reach goals that I want to be in the future. Being the best that I can be provides me the motivation to be better. When I began high school, it seemed like it was all academics and competition. It took me a year just to notice the various activities in school that I could be involved with than just academics. Know when I start out, no one is ever perfect, until you're determined to push to become better. And when you begin with something, you must keep striving for the better and never allow yourself to think that you have no potential. Believing in myself throughout difficult times and reassuring myself that I would be triumphant allowed me to display confidence and willpower.
During my freshman year of high school, I looked forward to the Boys' Varsity Volleyball Team tryouts. I had no experience and no idea what to expect, but I still tried out optimistic and confident. I became more confident, when I started to receive compliments from other players. It was a difficult tryout that made me anxious to be on the team. However, when the final roster list came out, I was disappointed to not see my name on it. Although I did not make the team, I reminded myself that this was not a failure but an opportunity to improve myself. It made me want to work harder and try again next year. But as the months went on, I kept my hopes alive. I continued working on skills and technique and received encouragement to try once more.
The end of Spring 2007, I applied for the my school's yearbook committee. When I received the acceptance letter. I was overjoyed and excited because I already had experience working on designing newsletters, photographing, writing, Adobe Photoshop, and layouts. While on the committee, I proved to be an integral member with my numerous creative suggestions throughout the year to the Senior Editors. Being on the yearbook committee rallied up my leadership skills, where I truly showed the staff that I could lead a group with my creative side. Taking a step ahead of the game, I went to many events to photograph, help and design layouts. Yet I was not chosen as Editor in Chief. I still continued to reach beyond my position and stepped up to play a bigger role in yearbook. As I took part in making big decisions, pushed for deadlines and assured how much I impacted the committee.
During the spring of 2008, I applied to become the Associated Student Body (ASB) General Manager (GM). Known to be a rigorous and challenging role, I was first intimidated, yet with past experiences, I reassured myself that I was fully capable of reigning as the General Manager successfully. Who is responsible for assisting officers. My Class was an extreme competitive and spirited class. What motivated me to run for this position in the first place however was that as the General Manager, I would be an active member of ASB who would be able to voice opinions and truly impact the academic and social environment of my school. With much apprehension during the decision. I told myself that no matter what, my victory would be defined by my willingness to run for this position and to truly convey my thoughts and opinions during the election process to the student body. In the end however, I was not elected as the General Manager yet still inspired by my aspirations to better the school, I made sure that my involvement in the student body was not diminished. But I continue to become involved with the Student Body. I gave input towards many activities, events and fundrasiers, showing I could of fitted the position.
Throughout high school I became aware that one should not give up on situations. It is given that struggles and difficulties will surface, yet one's true character surfaces as they cope with these obstacles, learn from them and grow. Although I was denied many positions, I kept participating and pushed hard because I do have potential to lead. Filling out an application or trying out for a spot is not all it takes. I believe that my willingness to always venture into different areas makes me truly versatile and that portraying myself outside of general applications makes me who I am.