What motivates me among all other things is my desire to achieve happiness through my success. My passion for sports has driven me to be a tri-athlete these past three years in high school, helping me bond and work together with others.
My mother and father were born and raised in San Pedro Sula, one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Despite being in love with my father, my mother met an English man and married him in order to gain citizenship for my siblings and me: essentially sacrificing her happiness for mine. After a major financial loss, my mother’s husband widowed my mother by shooting himself in the very house he had bought for my mother.
Her addiction harmed us all and continues to do so. Being unable to pay her debt, my mother had to move us to Tijuana where the cost of living was much lower than that of San Diego. For ten years, my siblings and I traveled three hours in order to get to school and three hours of travel time to return home. Thus, my childhood consisted of sleep deprivation, tiredness, hopelessness, house infestations, insecurities, crowded rooms, different schools, eviction after eviction, prayers, and an experience that would open my eyes to the world.
Despite the struggles I had to overcome, I was able to make the best out of the worst situations. I bonded with my siblings, I cried with them, and I suffered with them. But I also grew with them, I loved with them, and I became strong with them.
I strive to be valedictorian so that at graduation others can hear my story. In doing so I will have the opportunity to reach out to people and hopefully inspire anyone listening to do as I have done. My message is to give the absolute best effort you can give to a long term project without letting obstacles prevent you from success. It is as simple as starting off with one person. I want my voice to be heard. I want to show everyone that it is possible to be a triathlete and succeed, to be involved in school activities and still be at the top while still being in clubs that benefit the community.
As we age, we come to learn how valuable our family is. Till this day I believe that “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” These words from Lilo and Stitch, although a child’s movie, have a profound meaning to me. My morals and values are constructed on the notion that family sticks together against all odds. Being left out by my own blood was a challenge I would have to overcome during high school. When my elder cousin had first accepted my siblings and me into her house, I felt the influence family can have on your life. My notions of family were then challenged when my cousin abruptly kicked my mother, my siblings, me and my 96 year old grandfather out of her house. Nearly going homeless, I was compelled to achieve more successes in my academic career. Thus, I once again attained straight A’s despite the amount of hardship I was facing at the time.
From this experience I have come to understand that help is not something that should be relied on. Rather, I feel like I should reach out to other people. By contributing to my personal growth I am enabled to do so. Although this was not an immediate benefit for me, it was one that would eventually motivate me to excel in all aspects of life, not just my academic one. Finding a balance with all of my responsibilities has come to benefit me in many ways that will help me in my future.
In the coming decade, I will be consistently working toward my goals. That is, to extend a helping hand toward others. I plan to major in biology in order to go to medical school to become a doctor. Once I have established a good career as a doctor, I plan to dedicate a portion of my earnings to the summer, where I would go down to my old neighborhood in Tijuana to give free medical treatment to the many sick children of whom I have personally seen suffer through a plethora of maladies that remained uncured due to insufficient funds for proper medical care.
Brianna was one of eight teenagers sponsored by one incredibly generous family. She received her $2,000 sponsorship on April 29th, 2014!