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.
People often tell me how much I look like my grandmother. They say we share the same eyes, the same nose, and the same eager smile. What they don’t realize, however, is that the five-foot, white-haired, 61-year-old woman beside me is not my grandmother, but my mother. My mother’s frail exterior belies a rambunctious dreamer with an enduring passion for life. My mother is the type of woman who can unseal a tightly-closed jar, carry a sixty-pound rice sack on her shoulders, and sprint up several flights of stairs. Her jokes are sometimes fractured by the uncontrollable laughter that engulfs her words. My mother is a woman with a capacity to love everyone, one who has shaped my life by giving me the example of her own. Perhaps my mother’s seeming frailty stems from the many reasons she might have to be disappointed with the circumstances of her life. Many years ago, she had to give up her dream of becoming a nurse to take care of her dying father. She worked tirelessly for twenty years at a jewelry store in order to make sure that her children would have opportunities that she never had, and instead of studying new medicines and treatments, she spent her time stringing pearls and fixing watches. I have watched several times as my mother, believing to be alone, cracked open my chemistry book to gaze at the diagrams and charts with a certain longing in her eyes. Moments like these remind me how lucky I am to have such a mother, who was willing to postpone her own dreams so that I might find mine. Perhaps hope is on the horizon now, with my mother’s enrollment in Pasadena City College and her newfound determination to chase down her old dream of becoming a nurse. While she understands that finding a job at her age might be difficult, she is unfailingly optimistic, and ignores the friends who drone that it’s time for her to retire. My mother recognizes that going back to school is a difficult undertaking, yet she has never been one to shirk from a challenge. She turns in her homework perfectly and on time, and each night I watch her stumble through English words as she reads aloud and pecks out each letter on the computer’s unfamiliar keyboard as she types. My mother’s determination has helped me reinforce my own, and her drive to succeed reminds me of the gratitude I feel for her sacrifices. Her strength, and willingness to confront new challenges boldly, will be a buoy for me in the challenges I will invariably face in college. Like my mother, I have developed a strong passion towards medicine, and I feel equipped to face the long and difficult journey towards becoming a doctor. In pursuing my dreams, I will follow my mother’s examples of discipline, enthusiasm, and determination and apply them in my life. My mother has endowed me with a thousand gifts: yet if I am sure of anything, it is that through following her example, no matter what my dreams and aspirations are, I will undoubtedly succeed.