This is an initial draft of my DS. I need a lot of help especially on the conclusion. Any critiques would be greatly appreciated.
My father always told me that America could offer every opportunity that I desired. Growing up in the early 1980’s as a “foreigner” in the small rural town of Auburn, Georgia seemed to be counter-intuitive to the life lesson my father was trying to teach me. Knowing very little of my cultural heritage at such a young age and being born in America, in my mind I was just like everyone else. However, this rural town soon would soon point out just how different I was.
My parents immigrated to the United States in 1973 in a quest to fulfill my mother’s dreams of raising a family here. When she heard that nurses were in high demand in America, she enrolled in nursing school and received her degree as a registered nurse. My father wasn’t too excited about the idea of relocating. He had graduated from the prestigious Korean Military Academy and was quickly promoted and achieved the rank of captain, serving under the general who would later go on and become the 12th president of South Korea. Moving would force him to give up his desire to pursue a career in politics. But my mother had her way and my parents moved to America.
The environment that I grew up in caused many questions to arise in my mind regarding my identity. Simple trips to the grocery store involved numerous inquisitive glances, children asking their parents, “Are those people Chinese?”, and the frequent demands for us to return from where we had come from became a part of life growing up. Certain individuals’ efforts to make conversation with my parents were accompanied by snickers as my parents attempted to speak to them in their broken English. The distasteful laughs were compounded when my father would introduce himself by his English name, Bruce Lee. Similar experiences would not escape me even throughout my high school and college years. But looking back I realize that these circumstances were important steps in my personal maturation.
Throughout all the ridicule and lack of understanding by many members of society, my parents had a firm belief that America was indeed the land of opportunity. For as long as I can remember, my parents impressed on my mind that no goal was out of reach in America as long as I was willing to persevere. This lesson was relayed not only in words but by their deeds as well. I watched as my mother worked the graveyard shift tirelessly at the hospital. My father worked any job he could find, day or night. He worked mostly in restaurant settings and gathered quite a bit of experience. My parents saved enough money and opened a little meat-and-three restaurant in downtown Atlanta. At an early age, my summers were spent learning the value of hard work from two of the most determined individuals in America.
After 10 years of restaurant operation, my mother grew ill and my parents were forced to sell the business. I withdrew from school in order to assist in taking care of my mother. In order to continue with my education, I enrolled in correspondence courses and relied on my mother to help me with many of my courses. Unfortunately, because of the language barrier, the assistance I received was limited and I became responsible for most of my own education at the age of 13. I worked diligently, and even though it took me a little bit longer I prepared myself to re-enter a more structured educational environment as a junior in high school, one year behind schedule. Although re-entry was challenging, my 5 years of self-education had taught me invaluable lessons in motivation and discipline. I tackled the courses and graduated with honors. Throughout college and the years leading up to now, those lessons have served as a guide and continue to give me the confidence to face life’s challenges.
Now, as an owner/operator of the xxxxxx restaurant, with a daughter attending an elementary school with a less than 4% Asian population, it seems life has come full circle. My hope is to instill in her the same assurance my parents gave me: America is still a land of limitless opportunity. As I study law, I hope she will gain insight to a new plateau of opportunity available to her.
(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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