This is something I have remembered when using my talents, speaking up amongst my peers and most importantly this has helped me start off my career in the classroom. Although it was a large adjustment, I learned many lessons from pushing myself to live in such a different environment. Overall, I learned that you have to be confident in yourself and believe what you have to offer is valuable.
Since I was about ten years old I was practicing the national anthem. Every time the opportunity came back home, no one ever asked me because hardly anyone knew I sang solos, and I definitely would not offer. When I came to college my freshman year, I sang the anthem to open an event attended by Def Jam poets, and in the following weeks at a school basketball game. Those are the most memorable moments to me because I realized that I stayed in my shell and would not reach my potential even though I was aware of it because I was rehearsing it for eight years. And within one year of stepping out of my shell I was continuously surprising myself with more and more opportunities.
This has shown me the value of living among differences, a lesson that has helped me accomplish many more dreams. I was attending school to become an educator but had no idea how I would start that journey after I finished school. I believe that when I became more confident in what I had to offer and my ability to learn new skills, it became easier for those around me to notice it also. School has become an experience of me believing in myself, having the courage to try, and receiving confirmation in future success.
Whenever I did not succeed, I always learned something to make me better prepared for the next opportunity. This is a principle that I believe can help me in my personal life and also in my community, both in Albany and back home. I just have to make sure I remember the big and small lessons when I go back to my comfort zone, and each time I experience a new change.