I could tell you that I’m surrounded by amazing people who have impacted and influenced my life. Alternatively, I might entice you with a tale of a fantastic role model. However, neither of those plot lines are accurate. It’s not easy for me to be influenced.
There is no such thing as a great role model or individuals who’ve had an impact on my life. Experiences have altered my life and tested me; nevertheless, this does not make me distinct from others. Everyone has encountered adversity in his or her existence at some point in time.
I was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States with my family when I was seven. High school was extremely difficult for me. The language barrier made it hard for me to keep up with my classmates, and I often felt lost and alone. In college, I experienced a different type of difficulty. While I was no longer struggling with the language, I was now faced with the challenge of fitting in and finding my place. College is supposed to be a time when you discover yourself, but for me it was a time when I felt more lost than ever. It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I finally began to feel like I belonged somewhere.
Now, I’m happy to say that I’ve found my place in the world. I’m surrounded by people who love and support me, and I’m doing what I love. I may not have had a miraculous transformation or been influenced by some amazing role model, but I’ve grown and changed in my own way. And that’s what matters.
I think I appear to be like most young and contemporary Bahamian women on the outside: I take education seriously, have ambitions for the future that I am determined to achieve, and don’t expect anyone else to do the work. My family is typical in many ways: my parents aren’t together and I live with my mother, sister, and stepfather while only seeing my father on weekends because he lives far away.
I am very close to my mother and sister, and even though we don’t always see eye to eye, I know that they have my best interests at heart. My father was in the Navy at the time and was stationed abroad, so he wasn’t able to be there for my birth or meet me until I was almost 2 years old. That didn’t stop him from being an amazing father though, and he would often call to check in on us or send us letters and care packages. Even when he wasn’t around physically, he made sure that we knew how much he loved us.
My mother was only 19 when she had me, so she really had to grow up fast. She always puts her children first and works hard to provide for us, even though it means that she has to sacrifice a lot of her own time and dreams. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support and sacrifices.
As I mentioned before, my parents are no longer together, but they remain good friends and co-parent well. My sister is 6 years younger than me and is currently in 6th grade. We are very close, even though we don’t always see eye to eye!
I have always been a good student and worked hard in school. In high school, I was involved in a lot of extracurricular activities like student government, yearbook, and track & field. I was also a member of the National Honor Society.
I am currently in my last year of high school and plan to go to college after graduation. I’m not sure yet what I want to study, but I’m leaning towards something in the medical field. I know that whatever I choose, it will be something that I’m passionate about and that will help me make a difference in the world.
My family is very important to me and I love spending time with them, even though we don’t always agree on everything! We are all different and have our own unique perspectives, but at the end of the day, we know that we love and support each other unconditionally.
However, I am still grateful to have a family that is supportive and dispersed behind me. What sets me apart from the rest of the pack, however, is how I choose to spend my leisure time when I’m not at school. Because I come from a middle-income background, I knew that in order to pay for college, I would need to work during the summers and/or after school, but rather than accepting the simplest job available like many of my friends did, I deliberately sought employment that would both educate me new skills as well as provide me with a sense of accomplishment.
For the past three summers I’ve worked as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. It’s a great job for high school and college students because it’s relatively easy to get hired with little experience and the hours are very flexible. What I love most about my job is that I get to work with kids of all ages and help them learn a new skill or improve upon one they already have. Seeing the progress they make in just a few weeks is so rewarding, and knowing that I played even a small part in their success is something that really makes me proud.
In addition to working, I also like to spend my free time volunteering with various organizations around town. When I was younger I used to volunteer at the library, but now that I’m a bit older I’ve started volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters. It’s a great organization that pairs up adults with kids in the community who could benefit from having a mentor. I’ve only been matched up with my little sister for a few months, but I can already tell she looks up to me and it feels really good to be able to help her out.
So that’s a little bit about me and what makes me unique. I hope you found this information helpful and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need more clarification on anything!