Greetings friends! I was recently going through my folders on my laptop looking at old High School Newspaper articles I had written along with poetry when I stumbled across this. It’s crazy to think that 5 years ago at the age of 17 I wanted to be an environmental scientist. I was so passionate. Read, and let me know what you guys think! I’ll be posting my GradSchool essays soon, so you guys can spot the differences and notice the growth.
Experiences are the building blocks of life, and over the years I have experienced moments of pure joy, and moments of failure and sadness. I have not always excelled in the many activities and goals that I have aimed for, but I take pride in the effort I made towards each of them. I have participated in hip-hop classes and quickly stopped due to my lack of rhythm. I signed up for karate lessons, began writing novels, and even attempted to be a magician!
As I was growing up, I always had a difficult time finding myself. At seven I enjoyed the opportunity to make my own “significant” decisions. After presenting my points of argument I was given permission to select my own clothing for school. My outfits had to be “mommy-approved”, of course, but I didn’t care. In my mind I had fought and won. At thirteen I was set on being a doctor, or an actress, or even a marine biologist. The truth is I wanted to do everything! I knew I wanted to help people, but I also wanted to entertain people, and somehow at the same time, research and take care of animals. I was confused; there was nothing that fit every aspect of who I was. Finally, at seventeen everything seemed to come together. I was a compassionate, five-year vegetarian, who was concerned about animal rights (which explained my vegetarian principles) and the environment. I was frustrated with the genocide and inequality issues that occurred in multitudes in so many countries. I realized my main life goal was to change lives and so I began working hard at strengthening my voice in the world on all issues that I felt should be corrected and improved.
During that seventeenth year I realized who I was supposed to be. I had taken part in Cultural Leadership; a year-long highly selective program that taught teens in St. Louis about social justice issues through the Black and Jewish lens. Over one summer I had spent time in Harare, Zimbabwe working with rural children infected with HIV and AIDS. The year before that, I spent my spring break planting trees in New Orleans with the National Relief Network. I combined my passion and determination to help bring a positive change to the world.
When I was seventeen, I realized how much my views reflected an environmentalist. As a true environmentalist I was and still am concerned with the well being of the earth and its inhabitants. I wanted to be apart of solving global problems like the melting of the polar caps, and the genocide that occurred in Libya, while also working on local problems such as pollution in the Mississippi River, and poverty in East St. Louis. Sixty years ago my Cultural Leadership director, Karen Kalish, told me to be a “troublemaker of the best kind.” I’ve pursued everything in life with that simple idea in mind. The secret to finding my calling that I hadn’t figured out when I was seven or thirteen was that I am the only one who can write the definition of me, and once I did, I found myself and who I wanted to be for the rest of my life.