My name is Iris, and I am currently a junior attending West Hills High School. Since I was young, my mom encouraged my younger sister and I to dedicate ourselves to everything we do, appreciate what we have, and always be optimistic. My mom and dad are Chinese immigrants from Saigon, Vietnam, and never got an opportunity to go to college because of the lack of financial support in their families; my dad started working right after middle school. My parents got married and lived in New York for a few years, but they divorced when I was about two years old. My dad wasn’t and still isn’t a major aspect in our lives. There’s the check once a month and a few awkward phone conversations, but it’s mainly been the three of us. My mom works ten hours a day, seven days a week, and an occasional one day break a month. She tries to spend that one day with us, but we don’t see her on weekends for the most part.
Even with living out of the school district, I still get to school on time by getting up at 5:40 a.m. every morning and balancing academics with extracurriculars. I’m in the middle of my junior year, and I’ve maintained a 4.63 weighted GPA and a class rank of 5 out of 463 while partaking in two sports and a few clubs. I’ve learned to challenge myself to take the most advanced classes possible and to focus on the classes that will help me in my college major plans. I took a medical chemistry class last year as a sophomore, and it sparked a fascination with chemical reactions and lab work for me. I enjoyed every aspect of the class, even the math, so I decided to major in biochemistry in college and possibly become an engineer. I’m planning on applying to UCSD, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, Columbia University, and NYU in the fall. I recognize the opportunities I have as the first generation in my family to attend college, and I want to make the most of them.
My mom and sister have always supported me and encouraged me my whole life. My mom has done her best to provide for us, and I’m beyond grateful for that. She doesn’t have to go to every track meet or tennis game to show how much she believes in us and is proud of our hard work. My mom is the reason and motivation for me to succeed in school. With her low income, I’m not sure how she can afford college tuition, especially if it’s out of state. I plan to work part-time in college to help with the costs, but I’ve always been concerned and limited by financial boundaries. I want to have a successful job that I’m genuinely passionate about and allow my mom to retire early.
I was nominated for A Bridge for Kids sponsorship by my counselor, and I appreciate even having the chance to be sponsored. What this program and sponsors do for young teens is truly moving and generous to give us hope and support in our dreams.
Sponsoring a teen is as easy as clicking here or give us a call at 858-812-3150 to discuss how our programs help to level the playing field for “at risk” youth!