Lowell High School, 2007
UC Davis, 2011 – Biomedical Engineering
As the eldest in a family of first-generation Americans, I took care of not only my sisters but also my parents. English is our second language, and I was the first one to learn it. My parents looked to me for translation so I could connect them to the world of America. We grew up int he Bayview District, known as the region where crime runs rampant. Both of my parents worked many hours; my father was a freelance contractor and my mother as a seamstress. My sisters and the house were entrusted to me at the age of eight. Yes, I had to grow up fast.
When my mother passed in my sophomore year of high school, my father’s savings drained. I would never ask him to pay for me. I had to make sure of that, and Meritus answered my prayers. I was taught that to take my place among the leaders of the world, I needed an education. I am the first to attend college.
Thanks to Meritus, I did not need a single loan. But Meritus was more than financial support. College taught me a lot of things, and I was not always on top of my game. More of ten than I can count, I fell into a state of drowning, but the replies to my update letters kept my spirits up, and I persevered. Graduation was both a final step and a new door opening – to enter the world of leaders.