1st Quarter, 2006
Minority Scholarship Winner
“Growing up from a Vietnamese family, I was always pressured to do well in school, to succeed every task handed to me and to perform it with flying colors. My family instilled in me good work ethics and independence, more so by pressure than by encouragement. My mother always dreamt of having a daughter who will become a doctor, a surgeon, or even a nurse to accomplish her dream of the medical field. My sister chose her own path, thus more pressure was forced upon me to do better than her and to become what is expected of most Asian parents, a doctor.”
A Portion of Thu’s Winning Essay:
Growing up in a Vietnamese family, I was always pressured to do well in school, to succeed at every task handed to me and to perform it with flying colors. My family instilled in me good work ethics and independence, more so by pressure than by encouragement. My mother always dreamt of having a daughter who would become a doctor, a surgeon, or even a nurse to accomplish her dream of the medical field. My sister chose her own path, thus more pressure was forced upon me to do better than her and to become what is expected by most Asian parents, a doctor.
Over the years, however, this pressure or force rather, made me work assiduously to obtain a better future for my family and myself. The word “doctor” that has been involuntarily engraved into my head since birth, is now engraved into my soul, it is my passion. The sweat and blood I’ve worked for the last four years in high school is to ultimately achieve this goal. Although I am not the first person in my family to attend college, I am the first to have a set mind, a goal when entering college.
My main goal is to become a medical doctor. I would love to study medicine and the intricacies of biology and physiology. One of the many reasons why I chose medicine over other fields that I am also interested in is because of my mother. As she got older, the damage and tarnish of her working years surfaced. After arriving in America, her old illnesses worsened and new illnesses emerged.
My mother developed arthritis and had multiple surgeries on her hand for carpal tunnel to allow her to continue to work. She suffers from numerous pains from back pains to shoulder pains but never once have I heard her complain. Daily, she is forced to take multiple medicinal pills to relieve her from joint pains and muscle pains. My mother was able to hide her condition from me for many years until I finally realized why she could never participate in the activities and games I was involved in.
Even through her physical pains and sufferings, she continued to provide me with the necessities I needed to achieve in school and in life. Due to my mother’s poor health, I have always been determined to become a medical doctor to help find relief for my mother along with numerous others who suffer the same conditions. I always try to emulate my mother’s strength by holding in my tears when I am frustrated or to remain calm when I am angry, as I know that my mother is facing something more difficult than I could imagine. That has made me a better person. I believe that by entering Pre-Medical I will be able to make a difference in the lives of many people.
In addition, I choose to study Medicine or specifically Biochemistry because I am truly passionate and interested in this field. Although the work may be vigorous and tiring, I am ready for any challenge handed to me. In preparation for college, I have taken numerous courses that are applicable to my preferred field of study. I have taken courses such as Advance Placement (AP) Chemistry, AP Psychology, Honors Biology and currently I am taking AP Biology. I am also currently a Science Research Technician in which I help students in biology and perform information research for Biology teachers. Although these classes were rigorous, I was able to excel in these classes and received high AP test scores. In the end, my passion and interest has led me to choose this path of study.
I wish to enter a prestigious University such as Stanford or the University California San Diego. After I obtain my degree, I would like to work in a hospital in San Diego such as Sharp in order to further my goals in helping people, especially in the place I am familiar with. After two years of volunteering at Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, I have realized that there is a certain aura in hospitals among the visitors, doctors, and patients that makes working in a hospital more appealing to me. I believe that my decision to enter into the medical field will satisfy me intellectually and socially. By studying medicine, I will have opportunities to continue to help people, but in a more intimate and direct way.
When I am able to fully support my family and myself financially, I plan to do “missionary” work, volunteering my time for the unfortunate around the world. Not only would I satisfy myself by traveling around the world, which I love to do, but I would also have the opportunity to give back what society gave to me. At this point in my life, I would achieve my goals — using what I learn from my educational years to its full potential.
The first place I would travel to is Vietnam, my birthplace. Vietnam is a destitute underdeveloped country. Although I was only four when I left Vietnam, I remember asking my mother why there were so many homeless and ill people on the streets and why were they living in such filth. After visiting Vietnam twice after my immigration, there has not been much changes. Growing up, I had a lot of experience with volunteer work such as Alvarado and at my Buddhist temple. When I visited Vietnam with my mother, we often would volunteer part of our summer to aid those in need such as by donating our time and money to families in central Vietnam. From this, I feel it is my duty as a Vietnamese, most importantly a human being, to aid those in need.
After Vietnam, I would like to travel along with my mother, who is avid in volunteering, to other destitute countries such as Africa or even poor Eastern European countries to continue my work, possibly with the Red Cross. After seeing the devastation on television for the past two years, from the Asian Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the recent earthquake in the Middle East, I have come to realize that my dream to become a doctor is not to be financially capable, or to simply satisfy my parents, but for a bigger goal — to help those who are devastated. Although these goals of contribution may seem “trite” or even farfetched, I have set my mind on it since I was seven.
Achieving my future plans requires much effort, time, and patience, and I believe I am ready for it. It seems like light-years away, but in my mind it is what I want to do, and what I will do. Only through this way will I feel like I have made a major difference in the lives of myself, my parents, and my future patients.
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