Never Losing Hope

Ashley - Bellaire, Texas
Entered on September 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: immigrant, work
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I believe that by never losing hope, one can conquer the difficulties and achieve

ones goals.

I was born in China. My parents called me Boyang, which meant “sheep that

traversed across the ocean”, an allusion to their dream of attaining a better life in

America. I, too, shared my parents’ goal. When I was 8 years old, we disembarked for

America. During the trip, my mother reminded me of our family’s belief. “Hope is like

wings that can uplift you to your aspirations. Never lose hope, ” she declared. Unaware

was I that our belief was about to be put to the test.

When we arrived in Florida, it was a nightmare. My parents worked as busboys in

a restaurant. With meager wages, we lived in a tattered apartment with only a TV, a

couch salvaged from the garbage bin, and two beds. For sustenance, we’d dine on Ramen

noodles. Already, my hopes of a better life were fading. Then, in school, my classmates,

teased me for my deficiency in English. Later, my father was diagnosed with a mental

ailment and hospitalized and my mother lost her job. Now we had no source of income.

These unpleasant situations eradicated all my hopes for an improved life. I didn’t

even care about my academic classes anymore. All I could think about was China, where

I had decent living conditions and kind friends. My parents, seeing me so miserable,

became worried. Often, I importuned them to let me return to China. My mother simply

reminded me to never lose hope. This belief that I once trusted now seemed ludicrous.

Furthermore, I thought of my parents as callous, never considering my wish to go back to


What changed my outlook was the day I overheard my parents weeping because

of me. “We have worked so hard. We only want Boyang to be happy,” they said, and this

evoked an epiphany. How heartless I had been to not see all that my parents had done for

me! I couldn’t give up or think anymore about returning, knowing that parents had

brought me so far already. I had to keep my hopes high, letting them to empower me to

reach our goals of a better life.

By doing so, I was able to improve my negative attitude and be more industrious.

I enrolled and attended English classes, which I put my full effort into. I became a more

hardworking student. Each time I encountered an obstacle, I remembered my belief to

never lose hope. Soon, I was improving academically, mastering my English, and gaining

the respect of my classmates. Even our living conditions were improving, as my father

became an engineer and my mom an accountant. My life as well as our living conditions

were had gotten better.

My belief was proved true. Through the maintenance of hope, I (and my parents)

was able to defy the difficulties that stood in our path and eventually achieved our goal of

a better life.