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Despite living in the populous Orange County, I was raised with the small-town values of two parents from Weirton, West Virginia and Wellsburg, West Virginia: “God has given you the potential to achieve great things, so work hard and treat others as you would treat yourself…oh, and remember, God will not give you what you cannot handle.” My parents moved my family to Ladera Ranch on an auto-de-fé. No, not the auto-de-fé of the Catholic Inquisition, but rather an “act of faith” that this suburbia would serve as the perfect environment in which to raise their only child. They were correct.
Starting in 2000, the baby boom brought young families to Ladera Ranch, which meant that there were plenty of community-building activities in which to participate. Since elementary school, it was apparent that participating and eventually leading these activities was where I thrived. In 2003, as Student Body Vice President, I helped cut the ribbon for Ladera’s first school, Chaparral Elementary. In 2004, I helped organize a local Teen Club, to keep students positively engaged as well as created a Speech and Debate Team at Ladera Ranch Middle School. In 2005, I helped our community board open small businesses, a Farmers’ Market, and a Victory Garden. In 2005, I began volunteering at the local Harvest Festival and other family events. In 2007, I began working for “mom and pop shop” Divine Treasures. By age 16, I was working and holding an internship with World Art Gallery. And now, I work at a local restaurant, The Ranch, and hold an internship with our community newspaper, distributed to all of our local businesses. In a sentence, I have grown with Ladera, its culture, its “American Dream” inspired businesses, and its strong sense of community. Being involved in its growth has had a profound impact my dreams and future aspirations.
Tesoro High School has yielded the same effect. I take pride in leading Speech and Debate, Model United Nations, National Honor Society, Academic Decathlon, and Modern Art Appreciation. Actively organizing these activities has allowed me to apply skills I learn in the classroom and ultimately help decide my future. My attraction to these types of school organizations and the aforementioned community projects has allowed me to realize these qualities in myself:
I love public speaking.
I love adventure.
I love traveling to foreign nations and observing their cultures and school of thought.
I love people, and more so, I like to lead.
In addition to my likes, I have become aware of my dislikes:
I do not like preconceived notions, I think we should think through the issues.
I do not like meat (especially chicken livers); however, veganism was a little too extreme in the other direction.
Sitting in a cubicle from 9 AM-5 PM is not for me.
I like to be where the action is, which is why I feel communications is a strong focus for me. My world has facilitated my growth towards this type of education through involvement in my community and my school. My parents had faith that the world I would be raised in would allow my dreams and aspirations to be fully recognized and I am eternally grateful for the fact that they have.
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