Growing up with a father who suffered from type 1 diabetes and a mother who was constantly plagued by tumors from having 10 kids, I knew since I was little that I wanted to be a medical researcher. As a result of my mother’s drug addiction and depression and my father’s constant hospitalization, I was placed in foster care. I channeled most of my anger into school and self-improvement. When I was not in class studying math or science, I was constantly creating new lists and developmental plans for myself. I am energetic and ardent when it comes to helping others with my discoveries. Being an epidemiologist would allow me to make an impact and help many people around the world with my research.
When I was in foster care growing up, I was abused and taken advantage of. When I told my foster parents about my dreams, they would laugh. I was told that I would never amount to anything in life and that, because my mom used drugs while I was in the womb, I had to be intellectually deficient. However, I never listened to them. I always reflect on what I have accomplished so far. In high school, I also channeled my emotions into competitive wrestling. My teammates saw my ambition and aggressiveness so they voted me captain of the boys wrestling team. I also developed a girls wrestling division at my school because many students were inspired to participate after my election. After I graduated high school, I enlisted into the United States Army Reserve to serve my country. Upon my completion of U.S. Army basic training, I realized that I wanted to do something more inspiring than that. At Norco College, I was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society as well as a member of the Rising Scholars club. In Rising Scholars, we raised awareness about the struggle of America’s foster youth as they try to transition into college and the workforce. After I graduated from Norco College, I transferred to the University of California, Berkeley to study sociology.
I am the first sibling out of the six ones before me to graduate from high school and attend this prestigious university. I am also the first person in my family to serve in the United States Army Reserve out of patriotism for this country, which helped them gain citizenship. I am a certified emergency medical technician (EMT) and a reproductive health care advocate for foster youth through the National Youth Law Center. Faith triumphs tribulations, and I had faith in myself. Now, in college, I am forced to live on my own. I work hard to cover all my living expenses while attending college. I am grateful for the tribulations I endured growing up because it shaped me into a driven scholar and ambitious intellectual.
My career goal is to find a cure for all existing diseases and to eradicate them. I am a firm believer in the fact that, if my father had never been sick growing up, my life wouldn’t have been so tragic. Instead of feeling sorry for myself because I grew up in poverty, I realize I could make the change and lead my family out of the poverty-stricken place that they are in. Once I figured out that I wanted to spend my life trying to find a cure for my father and save millions of other people, I started to cry. I knew, at that moment, I was consumed by passion. My father passed away almost symbolically a day after I moved into my dorm at UC Berkeley. For this reason, I aspire not only to save people, but also millions of dollars in healthcare costs. No one should suffer because they cannot afford treatment.
A world without foster care would not have so many children growing up with self-doubt like myself. It would not have negative people trying to suppress the success of individuals who grew up with parents with chronic conditions. Why is it that I had to jump so many barriers and then turn around and build this narrative just for schools to accept me or for me to have social mobility? A world without foster care would be a world without hate. A world without foster care would provide better family resources in the community to address substance abuse and illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure. A world without foster care would also have support programs for fathers to be involved in the process of reunification for all circumstances, including health or financial support.