My Voice

Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?


Silence filled the room as twenty-two first graders watched me.

“What is it?...” my first grade teacher asked me as I held up my prized possession, a Hello Kitty charm, for Show-and-Tell.

What do you mean “what is it?” It’s the best thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on, I thought to myself.

Yet, I stood there dumbfounded as if the words were trapped inside my mouth.

My teacher finally dismissed me after an eternity of awkward silence. I was embarrassed that none of my classmates had shared my excitement for my Hello Kitty charm. I never talked during the beginning of elementary school because I always felt like my opinion was invalid.

However, this would become a barrier as I struggled to speak up when I didn’t understand what we were learning in class. I’d soon learn that in order to be heard and instill my passion with others that I’d need to find my voice.

I started slow by shouting the answers to basic addition problems during a math game faster than anyone else in my class of six-year-olds. A rush of adrenaline filled me when I won the title of Number Cruncher.Becoming Number Cruncher was proof that my voice could make me feel powerful. In second grade, I realized that making people laugh could be an escape from my fear of...

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