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.
I’m not one of those universally recognized teenagers that most people talk about, the super-student who is academically ingenious and involved in numerous extracurricular activities. I’m more humble about what I’ve achieved, but I take pride in my success. When you take a look at the world I come from, maybe you’d be impressed by me, the student who has only taken three Advanced Placement courses, the girl who spends ten hours a week in a dance studio, holds a part-time job, and completes an honest number of volunteer hours. The world I come from is much different than what the numbers and letters may portray because those numbers are relative to everyone around me. But my world is unique and my success is genuine. Since the beginning of high school, I’ve had to shape most of my path on my own while breaking down academic and social barriers.I graduated from a middle school that had one of the lowest Academic Performance Index scores in the county. I was underprepared for high school compared to students from the other feeder middle schools. Nonetheless, when given the option to challenge myself and take biology as a freshman, I did. I struggled through my science courses and even had to repeat a semester of chemistry. I strived to do better each year, and by the time I was in physics, I was in the habit of taking extra practice tests and seeing my teacher for help when I faced difficulties. At the end of my junior year, I was given the “Outstanding Physics Student” award by the science department at my school. Receiving that award was meaningful because it showed that I had taught myself how to succeed.My situation at home was different as well. Neither of my parents went to college, and though they have always encouraged me to attend, the process has been very challenging as I’ve needed to find the resources and information about college mostly on my own. At my high school, being the first generation in your family to go to college immediately makes you the minority, regardless of ethnicity. I’ve often felt socially disadvantaged at school, but my involvement in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) has helped me to fight the barrier. I enrolled in AVID in order to find the support I couldn’t receive at home. AVID is based on its namesake “Individual Determination”; I am an individual in my world, and I am determined to be accepted to and graduate from a four-year university.The academic and social struggles I’ve faced in my world have geared me toward attending college and pursuing a career thereafter. Good things are given to those who work hard, like the science award I received. I know that difficulties and challenges arise, but I also know that there’s always a way to break the barrier. Wherever I go, I’ll take advantage of every opportunity I’m given because I’ve already proven to myself that I can be successful, even if the odds are against me.