The American Dream in All Its Flavors

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. (650 words max).


My childhood included everything from waking up to my mom’s dramatic wake up calls in the mornings, eating ice cream from the carton with my siblings, rough-and-tumble play with my father, to family dinners at our Chinese restaurant, filled with boisterous laughter. However for my parents, who had the stress of managing a business, life was not as carefree. In 1995, they immigrated from China with my two older siblings and committed to a life of working fourteen hours a day for their children. Despite their financial struggles of trying to achieve their American Dream by starting a Chinese restaurant in Mount Vernon, New York, they provided all the tools for me to lead a different, better life than theirs.

Although I tried my best to advance their American Dream by doing well in school, I grew up to become a carefree ice cream binge-eater who would frequently finish their favorite ice cream flavor before they could even get a scoop. I guess I was like the pecans I would pick out of the butter pecan ice cream. My short height, endless chattiness, and habit of stuttering only added more pecans to the mix.

At the age of twelve, my family’s Chinese restaurant was sold off, just as my older siblings had left home for college and...

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