My life and journey towards Cornell has been one characterized by struggle. Throughout my childhood, I was raised in two families which highly valued critical thinking and education. As such, I was always expected to ask “Why?” “Why?” was the question that could bring me an education. “Why?” could help me learn more about my surroundings and how I could improve them. I also asked that question when my mother and birth father divorced. I questioned why my father left and why my mom and I moved. What I realize now is that, without my parents divorcing, I could not have received the opportunities afforded to me.
As a young minority male with two African-born parents who received zero education, acceptations were high at a young age. When I was five years old I attended PS 156 elementary school. The school had poor academic grades and eventually shut down after receiving a F. I always managed to maintain mostly As and was consistently top of my classes. I loved school and hated to see it end. When I was in fourth grade I maintained a high grade even though it was sort of a middle school atmosphere. My teacher recommended me to attend KIPP Academy Middle School due to my proficiency in public school. KIPP challenged my work ethic and showed me that oneself needs more than brute intelligence to be successful. I struggled when I first arrived because I
When my older sister went off to college, I had never seen a more driven, mature and intelligent 18 year old look so terrified and reluctant to leave her home just a few states away. Caroline had spent the majority of her high school years stressed, angry and tired, holed up in her single room acing more APs than I can count with two hands. My sister knew from the time she could read that success meant getting into an Ivy, even if the price was throwing away all human contact or not.
I never even got to say goodbye. When my dad left it was the hardest it's ever been for my family and I, and we were never quite the same. After a while I began to fill into my father's shoes. “Aaron, one day you’re going to have to raise a family of your own. You’re a man, you’re going to have to be the provider for the family.” These words spoken by my mother have run deep through my soul and has shaped me to the very being I am today. I have three sisters, a mother, and a niece. Being the only boy in a family full of women is tough; it seems like the transition from being a boy to a man swiftly creeps upon you, and you suddenly inherit a large sense of responsibility within the household.
No matter what time zone I am in, my phone buzzes most frequently when I am asleep. Whether a missed call from a friend in Kenya, an email from a musical collaborator in Canada, or a LinkedIn message from a U.K. investor in my educational startup, I eagerly wake each morning to many new notifications. Growing up, I traveled extensively, living on three different continents. In fact, my passport looked like my coloring book. Learning five languages and adapting to foreign environments while maintaining my identity, has taught me to value different skills, including networking.
But Alejandra came at a young age and had no know ledged of the dangers and how risky it was for her and her mother to crossed the border. Alejandra does not remember how her life in Mexico was; she doesn’t know what she was leaving behind. Although they both have different backgrounds, they both shared one thing in common: the “American dream” the right to have equal opportunities to achieve success regardless of immigration status. Although they both have not achieved the “American dream” they acknowledge how grateful and privileged they are. They appreciate the hard work their parents have done for them and for their family and for this county.
Perfectionism has been in my blood since I was a young kid always lining up my toy tractors against the wall in order of size or color. I have always had this burning passion in me that I need to do more; achieve more. Looking at the long list of activities and causes I dedicate my time to has been an eye opener. I am the busiest person I know but it doesn’t always appear that way to me. Being so involved has taught me unteachable lessons in how to manage time properly; something I will use the rest of my life.
My Responsibility to America Backdrop: On Veterans Day in my school, I was asked to write an essay on “My Responsibility to America”, and it wasn’t until I stared at a blank sheet of paper that I realized that I had a responsibility towards my new home. “Death. The only thing inevitable in life”, Colleen Hoover, an American author, simply summarized our greatest fear in words that once read, cannot be forgotten. It’s the journey that counts, it’s how you live that counts and till your last breath bringing pride to the country you were born in and eventually to the rest of the world. What scares me the most is not that we are mortals, but the deeds that we do aren’t.
Ever since grade school, I was passionate about working in the field of medicine, and science. I enjoyed anatomy, medical spelling and terminology, and reading about the healthcare industry. Because of my passion for healthcare, I decided to to attend Health Sciences High. There, I was given the best opportunities, such as, medical internships and college health courses. My plans and goals had turned me into a mature young adult. Now that I have my mind set on my aspirations, I hope to practice the qualities needed to be a triumphant dentist and dental surgeon. Of course everyone wants success, wealth, and happiness in the future. My long term goal is to pursue a career in the field of dentistry and earn my DDS (doctorate in dental surgery)
A change within my life that helped me grow was getting a job. My first job, was as at Little Caesars as a shaker-boarder. My motivation was to help pay my family’s bills. I had to perform tricks, dance, and wave a sign on the corner of Holgate and Division. Eventually motivated I moved up the ranks from shaker-boarder, dish washer, to preparing dough, all during my last term of high school. However, my parents worried that I may dismiss my education for money. After discussing the matter though, it was agreed I would keep my job to pay for college.
Going to college has always been a dream of mine, I never knew what I wanted to major in or any clue of what career I wanted to go into. It all started with my love of finding out more about the world around me I thought is was just my curiosity like everyone else but it was something different. That’s when I found my love for science. At first I really didn’t see my love for until sophomore year of high school when we would get on a subject and wanted to learn more about the particular subject not just what was in the book.
I am competitive; I look for the chance to run the extra mile. My competitive nature has aided in everything I commit myself to. Regardless if I am participating in a sporting event, competing for a solo in a musical production, or preparing for a final, I will indubitably devote my time and efforts to perform as well as possible. I take every opportunity that is presented to me and attempted to better not only myself but my community as well. I am confident that the Honors College at the College of Charleston will enable me to devote my attention to my studies, become actively involved within campus activities and academic assemblies, and offer my time and abilities to charitable events and organizations. The Honors College’s expectations
A quote from Doctor Seuss, “Sometime you will know the value of a moment until it become a memory.” What will your legacy be? Everyone wants to be remembered in some way. Whether it is being remembered as the lazy kid who snoozes through class, or the dedicated student who is always prepared for class. For example, a legacy to me is something that is left by a person to be remembered by. A legacy is a person’s reactions to a name. For example, when someone hears my name, I want to be remembered as a hardworking, kind, and helpful peer. My legacy doesnt want to be negative, therefore striving to succeed in my eighth grade year is the best.