Winner 2018 Spring Semester – Jesus Rodriguez
Growing up, I truly believed that I was destined to continue the vicious cycle of poverty within my family. I believed this because of my family’s scares resources and limited education. Throughout my life, I have faced significant financial hardships and educational obstacles, but was able to rise above them by working towards self-improvement that lead to my triumph as a student, and growth as leader with clear goals for myself.
I don’t believe leaderships is something that only few possess or is a commodity that can be taught, but is a quality within every person that radiates possibility, change and hope to others. Throughout my life, I have been the type of person that steps up when things get tough, someone who charges at problems head on. I focus on possible solutions and work towards them. I am a strong, smart and compassionate person determined to shape a better future for myself, my family and those around me. I have always felt strongly about giving back to those in need and investing my time into activities that serve a purpose greater than myself. My life experiences and involvement with civic groups and community service have helped me define what leadership means to me, and the role it will play in my life moving forward.
I am the fourth child out of five, and come from a Mexican immigrant family that struggles to get by. My parents’ education is limited to the third grade, and my three older siblings only completed high school; due to lack of finical aid, they were unable to attend college. As a child, I spent my weekends and summers working for my father’s small landscaping business. These summers taught me the significance of being a hardworking and responsible person. I was entrusted to operate expensive and dangerous machinery, but did it gladly because I knew that I was contributing to my family. My father struggled to put food on the table after he was let go by many of his employers, we had to get on food stamps and tightened our belt, cutting back on several things to save money. In school, I was categorized as an incapable and dumb student by my teacher and peers; because of this stigma, I was never allowed to be challenged in school for fear I would fail. With great effort, I significantly raised my grades and reached the appropriate reading level. I realized that the only way to change their impression of me was to prove that I am intelligent and academically capable of great things, I became proactive in regards to my education.
Having experienced hunger and financial instability, I was compelled to become a part of community organizations that help those in need. I joined many, such as the AWARE food bank and Love Santa Inc. that provide food to the hungry. I also helped with leadership groups such as Ford Family Foundation and Woodburn Youth Advisory Board. Maybe my greatest personal challenge has been the creation of two, self-run community service projects. The first is Warm Hugs a small group that raises money to purchase fabrics to make blankets that are then distributed to those in need for free during winter. The second is New Roots a small group that grows and provides a variety of fruits and vegetables from Spring to Fall that are then donated to the city food bank. The purpose is to provide fresh produce to those in need. I have used my leadership skills to contribute to my community in my own way.
I will no longer be a victim of circumstance because I have decided to strive for success, and dared to tread were none in my family has by pursuing a college education. I have the academic knowledge and determination to achieve my goals, but more importantly the desire to impact the lives of others. All I need now is your support to help me get one step closer to my dreams.
I am passionate about science and the field of technology. My life goal is to be the first in my family to graduate from college, and use my education to create, impact, and influence the development of technology and its application. I’m determined to pursue a career as a software engineer at Intel corporation, I want to create the technology of the future. I will accomplish this goal by continuing my studies at Warner Pacific College where I will obtain a Bachelor’s of Science in Software Engineering and minor in mathematics. I hope that finances will not hold me back in my college endeavor and sincerely appreciate the help from Keith Williams Law Group.