Determination

Jennifer - Watsonville, California
Entered on April 1, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that intelligence doesn’t get you anywhere, but determination to use that intelligence does.

There have been more than a handful of intelligent people I have come to know. Some work harder than one should have to work to be able to succeed. However, not all of them have used their intelligence to achieve what is capable with only a small amount of work.

One of my dad’s best friends, Yan Ling is an extraordinarily hard worker. He was born in China during the Cultural Revolution. His father was a policeman, a part of government authority. Therefore, the government took his father away, and he was never seen again. The government ordered the family to be beekeepers, but Yan Ling wanted a better life. He walked hundreds of miles to the Hong Kong Harbor, and swam across. He learned English working as a janitor at Yale University, Hong Kong. He then traveled to America where he became a beekeeper and eventually attended community college. He later attended UC Berkeley to earn Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Political Science. Through hard work and determination he received full scholarships to Stanford and Yale. He acquired a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Stanford and started working for HP. He is married now and has two children. One child has graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and the other child is a junior at Stanford University.

Sarah King is someone I would love to mirror. She has an intelligence that is unbelievable to me, she works until she crashes. She navigates through a full schedule at an extremely advanced high school, and somehow achieves an exceptional GPA. This summer she traveled half way across the world to study. She has been accepted to one of the top colleges in America and will be attending in fall of 2009.

A person I know named Matthew Wilson is one of the smartest people I have ever met. When he was in Elementary School, Middle School, and High School, he never completed any of his homework. He would go into his classes empty-handed and later take his exam. He would score a 100% every time. He attended a mediocre college where he achieved average grades. After college he applied for a job that he had been wanting for some time. However, they asked for his high school and college transcripts. Consequently, he didn’t get the job.

There is one common thread through all of these people. Their intelligence is overwhelming. However, not all of them have taken advantage of their intelligence. Despite this, each of them has taught me something important. Each of them has shown me something special. They have shown me what I believe. I believe in hard work and determination. I believe everyone should use his or her intelligence to the fullest.