Climbing the Ladder

Danielle - Houston, Texas
Entered on March 6, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the evolution of intellectual self-fulfillment. I use the word evolution in my case because there is to revolution. I am number seven of eight children and the only one of eight to have made it to the second semester of my senior year without getting pregnant, being convicted of a crime or dropping out. I am a third generation Mexican-American. If I graduate high school, and a four year college, I will be the first in three generations to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that my siblings, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents are failures. What I am genuinely trying to say is that under certain circumstances, the sacrifice of one’s own dreams and desires must be made in order for someone else to succeed.

My great-grandparents came to this country from Mexico in hopes that their children would be able to live a better life than they had. My grandparents, were forced to work the fields when they were teenagers to help their parents keep food on their table. My father almost went to college, however he impregnated his girlfriend at a young age. Rather than abandoning his child, he chose to get a job to support it. Each and every one of my siblings has a story all their own. Whatever their circumstances may have been, they have not influenced me in the slightest way. What my siblings have done is they have opened my eyes to what I do not want to be, and where I do not want to go in life. They have done just the opposite, they have unknowingly pushed me to go just the opposite way in life.

Not only am I sure that I will attend and graduate from a four year university, I am 110 percent sure that I want to be a gynecologist. Working for a gynecologist as a junior inspired me to become a gynecologist myself. I was the only person in the office who could speak Spanish and I was astonished at how many Latin American women were not fully informed about their bodies. The women I spoke to were overjoyed at the idea that I could understand them and their bodily issues. That summer experience has made me want to go to Latin American countries at least twice a year to give care to women who have no access to doctors. The same women who may later come to America to give their children the same opportunities that my great grandparents have given me. I will not waste the sacrifices made by those before me in vain. I will use them as a ladder, as they were meant to be used, to achieve what they could not.