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Christian Paul C.


2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving,
original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express
your creative side.

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When I was in the Philippines, plastics and different kinds of garbage were scattered
everywhere, especially in our rivers. I have seen massive flash floods happen in my hometown,
and one thing that really caught my attention was the surprising amount of plastics flowing
within the muddy water across the streets. Plastics have been creating more environmental
problems not only in our country, but in our world. This led me to think of some solutions an
ordinary high school student could do for the betterment of the environment.

Conducting research to help our environment was part of my science requirement during
my high school years in the Philippines. In 7th grade, together with my three-man group, we did
an investigatory project focused on reducing the use of plastic bags in our community. As we
brainstormed together, we decided to produce 200 paper bags as an alternative to plastics. Those
paper bags were given to 3 different bakeries at my town as a substitute for plastic bags used
when packaging breads. This project was a success, seeing that owners used it effectively, and it
motivated me to think of another ingenious project for the near future.

Three years later, I became a research team leader during my 10th grade year. In my
group, we discussed ideas for one week, and I suggested that we focus on how we can eliminate
the use of plastics. With the help of our two research advisors, we decided to make
biodegradable cups made from cassava starches. It took us 7 months to finish our research
project, doing several trials and experiments, but due to lack of time and equipment, we didn't
get the product that we expected. Even though it didn't enter the national research competition—
that was my dream—I've learned from our mistakes and shortcomings. At the end of our
research paper, we recommended things that we couldn’t do in the study for future aspiring
researchers. Perhaps in the future, I could continue and improve this project using my ideas that
will potentially save our world from environmental catastrophes and human activities.
Christian Paul C. Ditona

3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and
demonstrated that talent over time?

Word Count: 350

Singing was introduced to me by my aunt when she started playing classical and church
songs. I practiced singing at home, not sure if I was really good at it, though my aunt and my
mother told me I have a really nice voice. When I was in elementary school, only a few knew
that I could sing. I couldn’t show them this talent because I was really shy letting it out.

My 7th grade came, and my music teacher asked us to sing any genre. I was really
nervous that time because it would be my first time showing my talent in front of my classmates.
I picked a pop song and practiced it many times. When the day finally came, I sang the song very
decently and the moment I finished, I was really entranced by the sound of claps I heard from my
teacher and classmates. Since then, it warmed my heart and decided to continue this passion of

After a year, my taste for music changed unexpectedly from the moment I watched Les
Misérables on HBO and heard songs that really tell a story. Because of my astonishment for
classical songs, I streamed for long hours on YouTube and watched multitudes of musicals. I
decided I want to sing the same way that theatre actors sing. At that time, I discovered I didn’t
have enough skills nor techniques to sing that way. In order to achieve my goal, I practiced vocal
training using YouTube videos only. After almost 2 years, I learned proper breathing and
techniques, like vibrato, in singing. Singing has helped me perform in class and school-based
competitions while I was still in the Philippines.

When I came to U.S., I didn’t know I would be able to use my talent here and become
very useful. Maharlika Club and Filipino Migrant Center helped me show this talent to my
community by performing harmonious Filipino songs during Pilipino Cultural Night and
Filipino-American History Assembly. The previous me that was too shy to sing out loud can now
proudly sing in front of hundred audiences.
Christian Paul C. Ditona

5. 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?

Word Count: 349

Migrating to the U.S. was the most significant challenge I have faced in my entire life.
My family came here to get greater opportunities, but my parents said, this won’t be easy. When
I came here, there was a mixed feeling of excitement and anxiety inside me. We don't have a
house here, and my father was just living at her sister's house. But her house was already full, so
we had to move to a different location. Good thing was that my grandparents on my father's side
welcomed us into their home, but we still need to pay rent.

I come from a low-income family, both of my parents are caregivers and there are times
we cannot really meet for at least a day because they’re working overtime. After two weeks of
staying here, me and my sister already attended school. We are the first generations in our family
to attend a school in U.S., so I honestly didn’t know where to start or the ways that I can do to
get scholarships and be attractive to universities.

Not knowing how the educational system operates here, I was given just regular classes
on my first day. After three days, I became very inquisitive about how I would be successful
during my high school career. So, I talked with my friend, who lives in Texas, and she gave me
insights concerning how to excel here as a student. From then, I talked with school coordinators
to switch few of my regular classes to AP and honors. I was really encouraged to take advance
classes since I took rigorous courses in the Philippines.

Because of my dream to buy a house here for my family, I continuously seek help about
getting into college from college center, Maharlika Club, and Filipino Migrant Center. Then,
summer came, I simultaneously took summer classes, volunteered at Carson library, and
attended Sama-Sama Youth Program for 6 weeks. I also signed up for multiple AP classes my
senior year. I won’t stop achieving my dreams especially when I know there’s an important goal
I want to reach.
Christian Paul C. Ditona

6. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered
this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.

Word Count: 345

My interest in environmental science has grown throughout my high school career,

simply from conducting environmental research to applying my knowledge to help the
community. Watching my surroundings change over time, experiencing how global temperature
rises, and seeing how human activities affected nature are the things that highly influenced me to
be captivated in this area.

I have been able to apply my interest for the environment when I was in the Philippines
through participating in environmental research projects, Youth for Environment in Schools
Organization’s (Yes-O) tree planting, and joining International Coastal Clean-Up Drive for two
times for two years. In my senior year, I joined Go GREEN and tried to be active in the club to
the fullest since I didn’t have the chance to join during my junior year. Joining this club grabbed
my attention and furthered my interests about my environment, especially when I started doing
garbology and garden beautification. I was new to the club, but the feeling of being able to
contribute to my community and environment was overwhelming.

My decision to be active in Go GREEN has also pushed me to take AP Environmental

Science, which I will never drop out because I know there is much information about my
surroundings that I still have yet to know. Learning the material has opened so many doors of
knowledge to me from doing laboratory experiments, like in AP Biology, to drawing a
significant conclusion. The class brings back the nostalgia of working on a research project as I
did in the Philippines. I know taking this course earnestly will help me thrive in my college
career as I pursue medicine in the future. There are so many disciplines I have learned related to
this subject. Integrity, hard work, and teamwork are the essentials necessary for success in this
course. These are characteristics that define me and are embedded in environmental science
course that inspires me.