Serah Elise Almeyda

24 November 1997
Personal Statement 2

For many people, the summer of 2012 was spent preparing for the end of the world on December
21—for me, my time was consumed by preparing for my new life. It was the summer after my
terrible freshman year of high school, and many significant changes were happening. I faced a
new family, a new town, a new house, a new school, and new ears. After the struggles from 7
grade, I was ready to take on a new image (literally) and work on healing myself. With the
adaptations to my new environment I gained ambition, confidence, and curiosity: all
characteristics that would pave my road to success.

When I was younger, I always had a set, limiting paradigm of my situation and myself. I saw the
people around me doing well in school and I never imagined myself in their situation. I had
always told myself that I would never do well because I didn’t have a dad, and I didn’t have
money, and I’m not white. Fortunately for me, my mother always encouraged me to take
advantage of the time I had while I was young, and she warned me to not have a baby at 16 like
she had me. My move to the new town was my opportunity to start fresh and try harder in
school. I made the decision to take Honors classes and set high goals for myself. I had a strong
ambition to overcome obstacles and achieve the gratification that came with a weighted GPA.

During my wild adventures as a child, one would always see me with my hair tied back. Of
course, this all changed when the reality of self-image came around and I developed a profound
insecurity with the size and shape of my ears. Although it was a controversial issue for my
mother and I, she supported me in my decision to undergo an otoplasty procedure at the age of
14. Despite the stigma and general disapproval of this topic, the corrective surgery fixed not only
my ears, but also my self-esteem. The internal transformation was not instant like the external
one, but the confidence I gained helped me achieve my true potential.

In middle school, my most significant activity was playing Angry Birds on the iPod my
biological father gave me to “make up” for the 10 years of my life when he wasn’t around. This
is not a confession that comes as easily to a college acceptance board, but it shows how extensive
my metamorphosis ranged. At the new school I found the Debate Team and joined, even though
I knew nothing about politics! My newfound curiosity inspired me to experience new things and
step out of my comfort zone.

I am very proud of my accomplishments and my endurance through each and every one of these
experiences. Considering the negative impact my challenges had on me as a child, it is unreal
and satisfying for me to see my transformation into a powerful young woman.