Late Nights at the Whitney
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Looking at the sky reminds me of when I was coming to the U.S., I crossed the Pacific Ocean, from east to west, and from sunrise to sunset. This was the time that my parents believed their lives would change completely.
During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the government didn’t allow education. The Chinese government was afraid of being overthrown by educated people. My parents, who were born during this time period—in 1955, weren't very educated. They didn’t finish high school. My parents told me that they were too poor to attend school. Another reason was that, even though they were willing to learn and wanted to learn, they were born in a time when it was difficult to complete anything due to the political situation.
Moving to the United States of America, my parents believed their children would have more opportunities than they had. Life in the U.S. is not the way my parents predicted. They didn’t know that having so little education would have such a big impact on finding a job. My father is a restaurant worker and my mother is a factory worker. They work more than twelve hours a day. No matter how long the day or how hard the job is, they always believe that if they work hard, they will have a better future. My parents don’t want me to follow in their footsteps and become a factory or restaurant worker. They want their children to have a better life than they have had. They want their children to complete the road they couldn’t walk.
Carrying all the hopes of my parents, I have always tried my best in my four years of high school, and I have accomplished a lot. I have finished all the required course and have a good GPA. I also started an Origami Club and have some great plans for it, for instance, donating money to orphanages and homeless shelters.
However, I think that my greatest achievement is finishing my physics class and passing the Regent Exam. I was brave enough to challenge my weakest course. At the beginning of the course, I had so many problems. I didn’t understand what was being taught and I had a low score in my physics class. When the second semester began, I became familiar with it and my grade became higher and higher. After I finished regular physics, I continued taking AP physics. I believed that if I worked hard I could overcome anything. Also, I started to realize that it feels so good when you overcome your weaknesses, and everything is possible if you try your best.
Later on, I wanted to search for more adventures. I started volunteering at the South Street Seaport Museum. I worked in the membership department and I learned how an office works. I learned the importance of working as a team; if one person didn’t finish his/her job, it would slow down the whole process. This year I was also accepted into the Youth Insights program at the Whitney Museum. Youth Insights is a group of sixteen high school students from different backgrounds. We share and present our own understanding of artworks. Later on in the program, we gave tours for visitors to the Museum. This was a big challenge to me because I’m afraid of speaking in public. I believed that if I could overcome this weakness too, I would become a better person. I did and I am accomplishing my parents' dream of a better future.