My Grandmother’s Influence

Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence. (500 Words Maximum)

Zhu Qin, a peasant girl who had been isolated from civilization her entire life, knew nothing of the world that existed beyond the mountains. Not a single person in her family had had any prior education whatsoever; nobody was able to even write his or her own name. The youngest of nine children, Zhu Qin was determined to alter this. She started her formal education at age ten, and, with the odds very much against her, worked through high school and college, eventually becoming a reputable doctor.I’ve heard my grandmother’s story once a year, every year since I immigrated to the States at age four. But I never get tired of it—her determination, hard work, and astounding accomplishments leave me in awe each time. Her daughter, my mother, became extraordinary as well: she attended Stanford on a full scholarship and succeeded in her subsequent entrepreneurial pursuits. My grandmother’s whole-hearted persistence, ambition, patience, and, most of all, grace, are traits that I intend to mimic in my own life. She had only a slim chance of succeeding in her endeavors—but was never discouraged. Instead, she pushed herself even harder, focused on disproving the odds. This brief yet meaningful family history has humbled me, making me realize that I am only where I am today because of the efforts invested by those before me. My grandmother’s determination, sacrifice, and unrelenting drive to achieve her goals regardless of all obstacles are traits I have come to hold in highest regard. She’s taught me a lesson that will be crucial to my future: if I yearn for success, I must work for it. Over the past thirteen years, I’ve increasingly familiarized myself with this concept. From my cartoon drawings to my paintings hung in city hall, from my first debate tournament to my 2nd-place finish at the state championship, I’ve tested this truth for myself.My grandmother has demonstrated that with effort and dedication, I can accomplish anything and everything I set my mind to. With my life just starting and so much ahead of me, there are guaranteed to be sleepless nights, stressful days, and moments when I’m ready to quit. But seeing how my grandmother ignored all hurdles and continued, I, too, will press forward. The family history I’ve heard many times has done well for me: it has inspired me, driven me, and most of all, made me eager to take on the challenges of leading an exceptional life. Not too long ago, I was told by a distant relative that the women in our family tend to run strong. I smiled.Why?I’m about to be living proof.

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