Success is Sweet

May 23, 2012
By MissTiffanyS BRONZE, Las Vegas, Nevada
MissTiffanyS BRONZE, Las Vegas, Nevada
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

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Five years into life, and already moving across the world. It isn't easy to adjust to a new place so quickly, yet sometimes, there isn't a choice. I was only five when I came to the United States of America, speaking only the English I had learned from my time at the English pre-kindergarten school I attended in Rome, Italy. When my parents and I first came to America, I had to be enrolled in school. Because of my late birthday and the belief that I was "smarter than most" at a young age led my parents to enroll me in the first grade at only the age of five. Being the youngest in my class and learning a whole new language at the same time was not easy, but it had to be done. And it was. By the fifth grade, I had fully learned how to speak, read, and write in English, and was even awarded the precious "Straight A Honor Roll" award. I had done all of this while continuing to add on to my knowledge of the Italian language at home and socializing fully in English elsewhere. It is because of my hard work, determination and family support that I have accomplished many things I would have never thought of; and as if two languages weren't enough, I had to add a third. Not many people can say that by the age of 15 they are "tri-lingual", but I can, and I am proud of it.

By having been raised in a culturally Italian family and having had the experience to interact with many people from other cultures, I have developed a sense of awareness to other types of people and their lifestyles; not everyone is the same. What is considered an appropriate behavior in one culture may be frowned upon in another one. For example, I'm sure many foreigners perceive Americans as people of high priority lifestyles, always working, trying to finish business deals and such. Whereas, another culture, such as the Italian one, can be perceived by people to be more relaxing and where social life is highly regarded and emphasized in life, as opposed to the pre-conceived hyperactive notion of Americans. Misinterpretations such as these most often occur when people lack awareness of their own cultures, as well as those of other peoples, and start projecting ideas and assumptions, such as these, in place of knowledge and awareness. Addison Gayle Jr. once said, “Power comes not from the barrel of a gun, but from one's awareness of his or her own cultural strength and the unlimited capacity to empathize with, feel for, care, and love one's brothers and sisters.” When people have knowledge and are respectful of other people's lifestyles, it is so much easier to socially interact with them. After all, knowledge is power. Cultural awareness is the ability to understand other people and how they live. Growing up, I have developed cultural awareness and other valuable skills that are key to succeeding. From adapting to a whole new country, to learning three languages, to developing a great awareness to my beloved friends and surroundings; I am now enjoying my hard-worked success and accomplishments in school, as well is in my community and in the athletic world.

It is hard to handle being an Advanced Placement student, a varsity athlete, sparing time for art & writing, debate, volunteering, and having time for family and friends, but through perseverance, it is working out well. My academic performance clearly reflects my character. I enjoy helping the community and especially reaching out to teenagers. The Trial by Peers program allows to me to blend my love and passion for the law with my enthusiasm to help other people. Through this program, I'm able to take real cases as either the prosecution or defense and help kids who have committed misdemeanors learn from their mistakes. Another activity which I enjoy is debating. It is my nature to question the arguments and points of other people even when it may not be a call for a direct debate. Congressional debate is a very fun activity to pursue and the people who win it usually have attentive skills and clever ways of persuasion. My life in America is driven solely by my striving character and support from my wonderful parents; and even though I may not have been born here, my accomplishments here are just as valid as everyone else’s.

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