Coming From a World of Outsiders

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.

Both of my parents came from very different worlds. My mother was born and raised in the impoverished country of Colombia in South America, where she had to help my grandparents take care of her four younger brothers in their small apartment in the city of Medellin. At the same time, my father was growing up thousands of miles away in the quiet countryside of Ireland. Their love of caring for the poor and helping others eventually brought them together in the oddest of places, Skid Row in Los Angeles, where they had both joined an organization that brought food and clothes to those living on the streets.Not only did this passion to assist those in need bring my parents together, but it also instilled in me that very same attitude of reaching out to others who are less fortunate. During my freshman year in high school, our principal discovered that not only was I one of the up and coming debate students, but also that I was fluent in Spanish, having been raised with Spanish as my first language. When I told my parents that the principal, Father Pat Travers, wanted me to deliver sermons in Spanish to neighboring parishes regarding our school’s house building project in Mexico, they were extremely supportive and were glad that I was able to put my talents to work.What began as a weekend at church every few weeks soon blossomed into much more. By the beginning of my sophomore year I was vice president of the Tijuana Mission Club and was regularly traveling down to Mexico with our school to deliver food and clothing to those in need. In addition, I took part in the two father-son week-long trips to build houses in Mexico for needy families.I have since then taken a leadership role as co-president of our Tijuana Mission Club. As a result of these experiences in the dusty streets of Tijuana, I have become very interested in exploring issues such as poverty and the vast inequalities between rich and poor countries. At college, I hope to study politics, economics, philosophy, and international relations. Through my university education, I hope to contribute to helping other Americans appreciate their freedoms and their other blessings and to help them to build bridges to the downtrodden of our world.Following in the footsteps of my parents when it comes to helping others will be a part of me for life. I have learned from my parents and my school that we need to take the blessings we have received to bring blessings to others.

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