I was born in Los Angeles, California in the year 1993. I lived in Mexico for the first three years of my life. My first language was therefore Spanish, and my second was Korean. I distinctly remember my first day of class in the United States. I remember my mom closing the door to my first grade class and recall crying and feeling afraid because everything was foreign to me. My fellow classmate’s clothing style, the lack of children’s crafts on the wall, the blonde-haired 6-year-olds all overwhelmed me. What I recall the most, however, and what should have scarred me but did not, was the teasing I received because I did not speak English. I attended after school reading classes, partook in kindergarten activities such as singing, and had to stay in from recess sometimes to finish up my classwork others finished in a matter of minutes.
After all this, at the age of 6, I did not let it define me. Of course I was threatened and afraid the first days I was in class, but my mother tells me I was happy to stay after school and read, I enjoyed going to the local library and reading one-sentence-page books. At such a young age, I did not allow myself to be swallowed by what seemed to be the impossible circumstances. Perhaps the first time I experienced this notion was in the 4th grade when I was promoted to the 5th grade reading class because my skills were at an advanced level and could more than keep up with the 5th grade students. Today, I enjoy topics such as philosophy, theory, and writing and it is all because of my drive to define the limitations that may not have necessarily been perceivable, but that I had seen as valid at that time.
Realizing the potential in my own abilities, I grasped the subjects I love most, and found it all wrapped up in political theory. I have declared my major to be Political Science for many reasons. I realized that political science took into account the topic of history, issues of race and ethnicity, and problems sociologists face. I learned early on that political science courses were very much reading based as well as writing based, which I enjoy so much now. I realized that the challenges I faced took place most dramatically in my early years, and because of the manner in which I dealt with the situation at the time, I have been able to overcome the obstacles I face today.
This year, I was dropped from all of my current classes due to financial reasons, and it proved to be a difficult task. As of two weeks ago, I have been able to settle everything, and I have learned so much from that experience. I think now what it would mean for me to graduate with a BA in Political Science from the University of San Diego, and I am so proud of the idea of accomplishing that. I will pursue law school after graduating, and seek to further challenge myself by undertaking business law. Graduating with this degree will solidify the challenges I have faced as a minority student both academically and socially.
We are proud to announce Jessica An is one of the current LatPro Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.