Hello everyone I would like some help on how I can cut down the words to 550 or less, but at the same time keep the essence, and content! Please help! :(
Also if you see anywhere where I could use a better word point it out!
Here is the essay:
When I arrived for my first day of 4th grade in a new school, I was scared. I felt like that lost kid in the mall looking for his mom, but in this case a friend. Mrs.Gardiner, my new teacher, introduced me in front of the class and told them all to say welcome. At that, point I already had butterflies, and I was hot extremely hot but of course I didn't allow my new classmates to notice this so I gave a slight, awkward wave and said "Hi." But of course the torment didn't stop there, Mrs.Gardiner asked me to say a little about myself, like what is my name, where I am from, and how old I was. I started out saying my name was Hugo Diamond, that I was 11 years old, and I wanted to be an engineer. Like my father. What came out of my mouth next is what started my life in Ann Arbor. I started out saying that my family was originally from Nigeria, and that my father's father, my grandfather, was King of Nigeria. I talked about how my family owned a mansion, and that mansions in Nigeria were equivalent to $50 in U.S currency. I went on about how I lived there for many years before I moved to America, and that I also knew how to speak a little of the language. I guess I started having fun with this and greatly stretched the truth. About an hour later we were released for recess and I was then bombarded with questions from my fellow classmates. "Are you really a prince?" was the main question asked, and of course I said yes, thus starting my popularity that didn't last long.
As middle school passed by we were all growing up, and me being a Nigerian Prince was just a big joke to everyone. No one but a few of my friends would let me live it down. I was always teased for being African. People would come up and ask me whether or not I was a prince, and my still sticking to me little story, I always said yes. They would laugh and ask me whether or not I ate bugs or lived in a hut. To me, it was nothing more than people just asking me questions about my country, but when I realized that being African was laughable, I quickly disregarded my culture and never bothered to talk about it again. Something special happened when I was going from 7th to 8th grade. The second time in my life, I was being praised by someone I met while on vacation for being African. She told me that she wished she could visit Nigeria, learn to speak the language, and she even went as far as to say she wanted to get married to an African man. This lady helped me realize that your culture defines you and that it is something to never been ashamed of, and that middle school was just full of immature kids. Even now in high school, people see my African heritage as something to be proud of, and I also embrace it with a passion that I could have never dreamed of in middle school. Of course, I'm still referred to as "The Nigerian Prince." Now, when people ask me, I tell them the true version of the story. My grandfather owned a large compound in Nigeria, and back in those days it was highly respectable to own large amounts of land. At the age that I was when my parents told me this I must have reasoned that my grandfather was a king.
Although my future is still very unknown, I at least know where I intend to land with my life. In the future I intend to educate people on the reality of Africa, and show them the positive side of not just my country but the continent as a whole. Everyday somewhere we hear about the starving children in Africa, how AIDS is everywhere. I don't not mean to undermine the efforts put forth by activists who stand up and try to make a difference, but I do want to bring the spotlight down upon the positive side of Africa. I want to try to erode and slowly deteriorate the stereotypes that are bestowed upon Africa. Although I'm not trying to become a serious activist anytime soon, I have made it my personal goal to correct anyone who I come across that is naive to the truth of Africa.
Ultimately I've grown a lot, culturally, and mentally. From elementary to now I am still African and that's never going to change, so why not use it as advantage? There is nothing for me to be ashamed of, and the community needs to know that also. There are many other foreigners or kids of other ethnic backgrounds who feel ashamed of their culture. Who knows? Maybe there is another prince somewhere out there.
Once again thank you so much.