Grace Diaz March 2, 2015 Goals “Who’s that?” “She’s funny!” “I want to be like her.” “#mcm goes out for Luke Bryan.” “How come I don’t have many likes?”……..teenagers. Focused in their alter-egos. If they had the chance to give all that away and look for successful, happy careers, there may be few students who would be willing to trade in their social lives for time spent on productive learning. However, instead of focusing on social issues, teenagers need to be thinking, Learning is informative! Learning is the initiation for creativity. In the early 1990s, my parents individually migrated to the United States from Guatemala in the pursuit of better lives; once here at the age of twenty-three, my mom reunited with some of her family members who had made the long journey before her. After nine years of separation, my mother chose to reunite with members of her family instead of staying and completing her degree from a Guatemalan University. My father chose to leave his house in Guatemala at the age of sixteen in order to help his family by working and providing additional income to send back to them. After several stints of working in Mexico and returning home on the weekends, he made the decision to travel to America, the “Land of Opportunity.” My dad adapted to his new country by attending trade school while my mother enrolled in college to study English. In their early twenties, my parents met while both attending the same church and married two years later. My mom had to put school on hold again in order to take care of me when I was four. She taught me how to read and write in Spanish first, and then she taught me English, so I would be prepared when I started classes at a public school. My father taught me math at a very young age to the point that I was at the top of my class. When school became a little more challenging, I decided to learn material on my own. Was it easy? No way! As an only child, it was challenging for me to educate myself in areas that were beyond my parents’ expertise. Many of my friends Grace Diaz March 2, 2015 had older siblings who mentored them on what to do and what not to do in school. I had to stay in tutorials and ask teachers for assistance when I did not understand a certain topic. My parents consistently supported me as I brought home excellent grades. Because of the social or financial circumstances my family has dealt with on an ongoing basis, I will be the first generation to graduate from a high school or university. My number one goal is to make my family proud. I also want to be a role model to my younger family members and show them that it is possible to succeed despite encountering difficulties along the way. As I sit in this chair and reflect about my career goals, I wonder how the rest of the young people my age are doing in this ever-changing world. Many of them may not have been fortunate enough to have had as powerful a support system and upbringing as I have. I have the freedom to express myself, to speak, to vote, and to form my own opinions. “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; [I] must apply. Being willing is not enough; [I] must do” (Leonardo da Vinci). I will be traveling out of town soon to attend Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri. I selected this college for their outstanding English program, and their student-to-teacher ratio (12:1) is reasonable. I will feel confident when asking questions and having one-on-one interactions with professors. I will improve my grammar in order to feel poised when I speak in public. Cottey College also provides community service trips to Guatemala during the summers. Receiving $1000 would enable me to set aside 25% for community service trips. While another 25% will be applied towards the purchases of books and supplies, the rest of the money will go towards my tuition. After completing my basics at Cottey College, I would like to transfer to another institution of higher learning. Texas A&M has a tremendous Study Abroad program for Criminal Justice/Political Science majors. Students have the opportunity to travel to Africa and work on community service projects! University of Texas Grace Diaz March 2, 2015 at San Antonio (UTSA) offers an Air Force ROTC program in which students participate in linguistics classes, leadership lessons, criminology courses, and physical training. After the three years are completed in Air Force JROTC, I will have a chance to serve my country for four years in active duty. Because both universities provide valuable outcomes towards my career, it is complicated to select where I want to attend after my two-year educational journey at Cottey is completed. Although it is difficult to select which university to attend next, at the end of my educational path, I am dedicated to immersing myself in service to the United Nations as a peace officer. I want to have the authority to fight justice and defend the rights of others who may not be able to speak up for themselves. I will support and protect people, be righteous, and defeat those who have put innocent lives in danger. I would like to team up with other people who are also motivated in order to improve deprived communities and formulate solutions, so that citizens can have abundant amounts of resources at their disposal. “All great things are simple, and many can be expressed into a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope” (Winston Churchill). I appreciate the time you spend each year in the process of selecting scholarship recipients and am delighted to share my story with you.