What Inspires me in Life by Andy H.

What Inspires me in Life by Andy H.

Stuttering has always been difficult for me. I was diagnosed with stuttering after I couldn’t read a text in second grade, always repeating three syllable words like a malfunctioning robot. My speech pathologist told me stuttering would be a ‘come-and-go’ process and I’d outgrow it. I didn’t. It became a permanent aspect in my life where I often question myself: Why am I stuttering?

Since then, stuttering proved to be that obstacle that affects my ability to speak and the way I live my academic-social life. Group work and projects are always difficult for me because stuttering can disrupt my presented ideas at any moment, but I rarely hesitated to display my curiosity to what I’m thinking regardless of how much I stutter in one question, sentence, or speech. It didn’t limit how I wanted to participate in the outside world either. I represented a summer reading program at a local library during the summer of 2017 and joined volunteers to sign up more than 250 participants in the city in just a 3 month time period. It challenged me to convince as many people to sign up as possible; even though my persuasion failed occasionally, their gratitude gave me a sense of appreciation for my duty. Even to my social group it was hard for me to ask about their life without repeating words and blinking excessively. But with the support of my friends, family, and teachers who respect me and treat me equally as if it never existed, I’m overcoming it every day by continuously communicating with them like a normal person, despite not knowing if the day will be a stuttering or a “smooth” day.

In addition to obstacles, I never knew what leadership meant, but I always had an interest in supporting the next generation youth because I grew up having to self teach myself without any siblings, mentors, and with limited support from my parents. During junior year, that opportunity came. I was welcomed with open arms to a bright new community at an elementary school called Big Brothers Big Sisters. Having no prior experience leading youths, I was matched with a fifth grade student named Daniel. Daniel challenged my leading skills because he couldn’t follow directions and lacked inspiration in school whereas past mentors couldn’t resolve. As challenging as it was, it got extreme when instructed to mentor another mentee who had ADHD whose mentor abandoned the program named Tommy. For the first time, I had to be strict. Juggling between Daniel and Tommy, I noticed that being strict was breaking the relationship that I was meant to build. Instead, I began to acknowledge their weaknesses and comfort them when they’re wrong. Being a role model in academics and achievements, I also led them in learning activities in hopes for them to gain interests in a particular subject.

For the Wednesdays in the past two school year, I’ve seen drastic improvements from them. Although Tommy’s parents withdrew him from the program, I felt a sense of failure that I didn’t complete my task. However, I’m glad I was a role model in Tommy’s life that he can be inspired in the future. Daniel, moreover, is more committed to school and is inspired to support his fellow classmates. There’s much more for him to learn and improve, but I know my work isn’t done. His spirit and love like a little brother I never had encourages me to go every week for an hour to be his mentor and big brother.

I learned that mentoring takes mass amount of patience, consistency, and compassion; even if this is the start of my leadership experience, I promise to myself that I will continue to lead and direct our youths to a brighter future, one at a time.

As an incoming undergraduate this fall, I am excited to see what obstacles I will face.

Even though high school flew by like it was just yesterday that I had just walked my first steps, there is no doubt that my time in college will also fly by. But before time takes over, I want to enjoy and enhance my knowledge before fulfilling my duties in giving back to my community.

I envision myself in the next 4 years pursuing a B.S degree in a human science major (Biology, Neurobiology, Immunology, etc) and continue to hopefully earn a medical degree in becoming a neuroradiologist or a researcher. As one, I will give full efforts into providing those that are suffering from any illnesses with my expertise and experience–giving them the sense that they’re not alone. In my free time, I want to volunteer with local speech therapist offices, especially in schools, and use my leadership skills that I have obtained (and will enhance during college) to inspire youths that anything can be achieved with a positive attitude and mindset, but also improve their speech. Lastly, as a stutterer myself, it’s saddening to know that there is no cure to stuttering, or if there is any technology to reducing it, it is highly expensive. I hope one day in the future I am able to breakdown the barriers of why stuttering occurs to those that are suffering from it daily, and possibly create a new medical tool to exterminate stuttering entirely. What inspires me to pursue a very rigorous, yet rewarding career is through my father who has Hepatitis C for almost two decades in addition to other health problems. Because my dad work long hours as an auto body mechanic for 23 years fixing cars, I am motivated to become someone who can also fix people’s problems through science and medicine.

It’s a very steep hill for my future, but it’s a steady process. I never intend to quit, nor will the chuckles behind my back disrupt my confidence. Most importantly, I learned the hard way that being different from most speakers makes me my own unique person and it motivates me to keep active and let my voice be heard. Needless to say, I’m proud to be a stutterer and the first in my family to go to college.

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If by chance I do win this scholarship, it means it will lower the stress for my low-income family. By attending one of the most prestigious universities in the state, cost is no doubt a huge factor. The scholarship funds will be invested into my higher education, and as stated above, will be invested into my path to become a scientific expert. I will wisely spend it directly on books or classes, or use the fund to prospect my health such as to buy food or medicine.

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