I was born 20 years ago in Shanghai, China in a small family. I am the first born in a family of two and my father is a factory worker and my mother sells vegetables in a local market. Growing up for me and my younger sister was not easy, in the neighborhoods of Shanghai. Most of the times were left alone at home as our parents worked around the clock to see that we had all our needs catered for and a good education. As the elder brother I took the initiative to take care of my sister whenever my parents were not around. This gave me a sense of responsibility. My dreams were to get my family out of a struggling life as such I worked hard in class to see that I realize my dream of becoming a professional architect. Most of my personality was developed in my childhood, and whatever I have become today is as a result of the life that I led as a child. Coming to the United States opened an opportunity for me to excel and achieve my dream.
Raised in a low socio-economic neighborhood, I saw many people struggle to make ends meet, including my parents. Even though we did not go hungry or lack basic necessities, we lived on a tight budget just like most families. When my parents were out for work, I could engage in various activities in town and make some little cash, which I would use to buy myself some staff for school work. I was very smart in sciences and all my life wanted to become an engineer. I could also take my sister to watch a movie in the city when my parents were away. They couldn`t afford time to take as for recreation, and they did not object to the idea.
One day when I was going to school, I found a man lying helplessly in the streets and he asked me for assistance. Being brought up with humility, I could not hesitate lending him a hand. I led the man to a nearby clinic where he was examined and treated. He obviously was very weak and unable to communicate. I did not attend school that day and I spent the whole day at the hospital. When it started getting late, I left for home promising to visit the man the following day. True to my words, I came to check on him this time round I brought my sister along. To my surprise the man had recovered, he told me that he had been attacked elsewhere, robbed and dropped helpless on the streets. His name was Danny, an American citizen. On further conversation, he told me he had visited the country for research purposes. He was grateful to me for the help he gave me his contacts and asked me to contact him any time. Though he spoke in English, I was able to comprehend and reply in simple broken English.
Well, I was interested in doing research and I obviously wanted to know more about the gentleman and what he was doing. One Saturday morning he invited me to join him and his crew for an expedition. It was fun and a great opportunity to meet professionals. We interacted and before I knew it, the guys wanted me to be part of their team, to assist them with some data analysis, when they noted I was smart in statistics. After school, I could join them for a few hours and assisted where I could. This went on for a whole term. After sitting my final exams I told them I could join them fully. They were more than willing to take me with them. I learnt several things as I waited for my results to join college. When the results were out, I had done incredibly well, the man I assisted helped me apply for a scholarship to study mathematics in the United States, and he offered to support me with my studies. I got the scholarship and joined Indiana University. I had not anticipated going to the U.S before, despite having ambitions to be an architect.
My thinking in life has since then changed. I came to realize that, a person`s worth is not measured by what they have, but what they value. Even though Danny was a stranger and a foreigner for that matter, nothing stopped me from assisting him. Despite being brought up in a single culture environment, I have learnt to appreciate and understand other people`s cultures. My interaction with Danny was a life changing one. Today we have several projects that we run together that have changed my life and my family`s life as am able to cater for my needs and support my family back in China.
Life has taught me very great lessons. Being brought up in a humble background, and being able to appreciate every single thing around me, I was able to open my world into the future. I am currently doing great in a new environment and looking forward to accomplish my dreams after college. I am focused on helping poor kids from China and being a mentor to millions of children across the globe, living at the very edge of humanity.