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Situated in the southeastern region of Vietnam, the image of hundreds of necessitous and poverty-stricken locals left my 13-year-old self in distress. Dressed in a filthy rag, a mother desperately begged people for money – carrying her sick daughter on one hand and a dirty bottle of water on the other. Growing up without a father, my mother always reminded me of the most important value of life: to always have love and compassion towards others. I quickly pulled out $20 and gave it to her. She smiled sweetly, making me feel comforted. I would have never thought this incident was my first witness of the shocking issue of unsanitary living conditions and economic inequality in Vietnam. It wasn’t until in 8th grade that I joined the Student Council and visited several rural areas to help those unprivileged. Visiting a shelter for disabled kids, I remembered seeing a lack of medical care, educational support, and intimacy among these children. As I was volunteering at local hospitals and schools to pass out supplies, I would see residents drinking from the same filthy water they used for domestic purposes. I ached, knowing that in the race of life, I was simply given a boost. I was lucky to have access to a higher education, love, and support. My mind raced back to the poor mother that carried her sick daughter and I came to a realization that if they were given the same privilege as me, they wouldn’t be drinking contaminated water, dealing with medical crises, or feeling despondent.
The poor livelihood of many locals in Vietnam has motivated me to make a difference, playing a part in the contentment and well-being of those suffering from privation or in great affliction. Joining student-led organizations, such as the Fun-race Project and the Ambassadors, and creating my own annual charity event, has allowed me to acknowledge that the vast health differences, survival of the richest and high mortality rates in my country are a cry for help. Encompassed by the stories of humanity, I wanted to contribute to my society by taking on the field of medicine and to become a physician despite the discouragement from my peers. I wholeheartedly want to improve the lives of others, regardless of their background, social status, or ethnicity. Pursuing a major in Science, I hope to gain more insight into the human-health and broaden my academic endeavor to succeed in the branch of humanitarian work in the future. I wish to acquire hands-on skills and a depth of knowledge to contribute to the well-being of others, apply it to real-life situations, and make a positive impact on a wider community. By seeking an academic journey at Monash, I believe that it will challenge me as an individual to explore my limits and strive for excellence. I’m aware of the hassle I must face in chasing my passion, but with willpower, sheer determination, and indefatigable efforts to improve myself, I believe it can unlock my full potential to overcome any obstacles and achieve my dreams.
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