A Strong Focus

Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

Despite living in the populous Orange County, I was raised with the small-town values of two parents from Weirton, West Virginia and Wellsburg, West Virginia: “God has given you the potential to achieve great things, so work hard and treat others as you would treat yourself...oh, and remember, God will not give you what you cannot handle.” My parents moved my family to Ladera Ranch on an auto-de-fé. No, not the auto-de-fé of the Catholic Inquisition, but rather an “act of faith” that this suburbia would serve as the perfect environment in which to raise their only child. They were correct.

Starting in 2000, the baby boom brought young families to Ladera Ranch, which meant that there were plenty of community-building activities in which to participate. Since elementary school, it was apparent that participating and eventually leading these activities was where I thrived. In 2003, as Student Body Vice President, I helped cut the ribbon for Ladera’s first school, Chaparral Elementary. In 2004, I helped organize a local Teen Club, to keep students positively engaged as well as created a Speech and Debate Team at Ladera Ranch Middle School. In 2005, I helped our community board open small businesses, a Farmers’ Market, and a Victory...

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