WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO YOU TO EXPERIENCE THE HIGH SCHOOL SUMMER ABROAD PROGRAM AND THE HOST COUNTRY YOU SELECTED? From the time my mother taught me to speak Spanish, to the time I first met my grandmother and still could not understand half the things she said, my life has been full of foreign people who left their native country for a better chance. They taught me many concepts that all seem from another world. They told me of things I had never seen and how societies were different from each other.
They would tell me about when they were in high school and how they lived through their struggles of being a teenager they would warn me against mistakes they were certain all American teenagers made. As I reach high school a new school emerged, Sharpstown International. At first I did not know what that meant, I just thought that it would be like any other high school. I would show up, take some notes, do some school work, and have homework. Though I do have all that, there is more to this school then meets the eye.
One of the best way to begin to describe Sharpstown International are through the four pillars otherwise known as the school mission which are: investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate ideas, and take action. Throughout our high school career teachers have instilled these values into us through their teaching. The most impactful class I had was AP Human Geography. We traveled the world and through all the different culture and practices seen throughout the world.
This fascinated me and sparked a drive in me to learn more about the world around me. We set out to explore different cultures and saw that throughout history we all have experienced acculturation. As we divide we also unite, so why can it be that we lose the source of our origins? The great painters that can be seen in Spanish museums influenced the way the world saw art, yet we try to look for any form to make those accomplishments part of our culture. I have come to recognize that the world contributes to the world it’s not every man for themselves.
Through project where I had to connect my community to that of a place in the world which was not the United States I learned that throughout the world we are very alike we eat similar foods and listen to similar music. It was our pride and nationalism that drove and drives use apart today, I want to enrich my concept of people’s views of the world for I believe that once you come to know this views and can communicate them yourself then you can finally respect them and the people who brought them forth.
I believe that the only way to truly get on understanding of the views of people around the world is to go to their home town get out of your comfort zone and open your mind to the endless possibilities. Those possibilities are exploding in the heart of Spain, in the third largest city in Europe, Madrid. As the capital of Spain Madrid is a hub for politics, economic and cultural opportunities. To truly learn about people one must first see what the life of an average citizen is like. Communicating with native Spanish will further my understanding of their culture, to fathom their views and way of life.
In the world we are all connected whether it be because of imperialistic roots or migration the world has many interlinks that connect all cultures together. Each and every one of us is made us of a mixture of many culture. I for one would like to trace back my origins and discover where my roots come from and how much they inspire me in my everyday life decisions. As a Hispanic descended I would beholden to this program for granting me the opportunity to meet the splendors of my ancestors and the riches of their glories life.
Whether that be through the bending of cultures, making incredible new friends who much like I feel as though the connection of their roots is what connects and guides the world; I would appreciate and bath in the glory of history. For knowing the truth about our past will greatly influence our paths in the future. I am very grateful for your time and the help you have provided to me thus far. PLEASE DESCRIBE A MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU’VE OVERCOME A CHALLENGE THAT FELT PARTICULARLY MEANINGFUL TO YOU.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF IN THAT MOMENT? HOW DID IT IMPACT WHAT YOU SAW FOR YOUR FUTURE? The summer before by tenth grade year I went to the back woods in Montana for two weeks. It was cold and raining and I was surrounded by people I didn’t not know and all technology was taken from us. As we hiked and went through avalanches and icy floor and waterfalls I felt a surge of loneliness and hopelessness. As we hiked through the wilderness I felt fear and discourage. What if I couldn’t do it?
What if I fell off a cliff and died? What must my Mom be feeling now? As these questions raced through my head we crossed a muddy river and reach are next stop to set up our campsite for the night. I sat down to help a boy who had wounded his knee and try to lift his spirits in hope of forgetting mine. When one of my fellow tent mates walks up to us and she sits next to me. We get to talking and soon after she is crying. I was worried I thought maybe something is wrong that she twisted her ankle or maybe she was getting sick.
As I started to ask her what was wrong she began to pour out her thoughts and emotions to me. She, much like I had been feeling lonely and scared from leaving home for the first time. At that moment I realized I was not alone there were many others like me. I began to reassure her and in the process reassured myself. At that moment I realized I’m stronger than I give myself credit for and though we may all suffer through the same issues we must help each other out in order to help ourselves out. HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL?
THIS COULD INCLUDE SPORTS, EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, FAMILY COMMITMENTS, PART-TIME JOBS, AND MORE. PLEASE SHARE HOW MANY HOURS PER WEEK YOU SPEND ON EACH ACTIVITY OR TASK. HOW HAVE THESE ACTIVITIES HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR PERSONAL STRENGTHS? Life outside of school can get complicated there is no longer the strict schedule or the teachers constantly telling where to be and what to do. Life outside of school becomes personal, it becomes a places to be free to make your own choices and mistakes that cannot be easily fixed with an eraser it becomes a preview to the real life.
The life beyond the four walls that constantly protect us is full of adventures. One of the most exciting ones that I truly enjoy is volleyball. Back during my freshman year I long to be involved in sports unfortunately our school was just taking root and had no resources no and advocates for sports. I decided that should change so I got in contact with one of my friends and we talked about forming a club for sports then we decided that sport should be a sport we both enjoyed volleyball.
We set out to find the details to starting a club all we truly need was a sponsor, willing participants and the approval of the principal. We went around rounding up girls and once we had that we set out to find a sponsor. My friend thought she knew someone who could help and said she would talk to her. Once my friend got back to me and said that she had agreed all that was left was to write a persuasive letter to our principal. We spent long nights writing and rewriting the letter till we decided that it was done.
That’s how we cofounded the volleyball club and now we meet every day for an hour for practice, not only is it fun, but it teach us and my team mate’s valuable concepts that will help in the “real world”. There are also other extracurricular activities that I have involved myself in; I am part of Future Business Leaders of America we meet for 30 minutes during lunch and do community service and even go to workshops and competitions that teach us about life in the business world and how we w=can be a part of it as well as how to deal with all the responsibility that that comes with.
There is as well National Honor Society we meet every Thursday during lunch for 30 minutes and have lots of community service project ready. For my extracurricular activities there are many Saturdays that must be taken up by the organization many there is UIL Academics in which I participate in Calculator Applications, Science, and Mathematics. UIL Academics is a place where one can go and be comfortable in their own skin and have their moment to shine and show how all those hours we spent studying and practicing afterschool pay off.
I also have a part time job working at what I believe to be one of the best fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A. I am usually there for about 20 hours a week and more during the holidays, Chick-fil-A has taught me patience and endurance when working long shifts and to never lose my patience with a guest even if they’re being mean and rude to me. This has translated throughout my life I have learned patience not only at work but in many situation at school, at church, with random people in the streets.