Extended kinship ties assume a prominent place within my culture. I grew up in the United States with my immediate family, which included my aunt and uncle. I used to feel incomplete and isolated living away from my extended family structure. Since I was totally dependent on them, I looked upon my aunt and uncle as my grand parents. I have missed, to some extent, the comfort of home and the protectiveness of my parents.
The financial insecurity of my family led me to take up jobs at a very young age wherein I understood the value of money and self-dependence. I matured as a person quite early in my life, though this obstructed my continuous educational process. Perhaps, this was the underlying cause for me to be a very avid and hard working student throughout my education.
If I were to define the purpose of my life, it would be finding ways to be useful to others. Over the past thirteen years, I have participated in various voluntary organizations and social service campaigns. These experiences has helped me grow personally, emotionally and spiritually, all the while strengthening my values and motivation for helping others. I volunteered for the American Red Cross in San Francisco in 1992. This pursuit enhanced my understanding of communal diversity.