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An Unlikely Rise to Prominence

written by: Philanthropist

The eloquent soliloquy of the hope and change on November 5th by President-Elect Barack Obama filled my heart with bliss and clouded my eyes with tears of joy. As he took command onstage, I drew closer to the television, turned up the volume, and I listened closely to words of promise and hope. With each resounding statement, I pumped my fists, joining millions in jubilation, and reflected on our new leader's rise to prominence and the future. Goosebumps swarmed my body as I coiled beneath the comforter listening to his message: "This is our moment. This is our time—to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many, we are one…." His calm confidence invigorated those who stood by his side, awakened those who were ignorant, and embraced all who doubted. I quietly echoed, "Yes, I can" to myself as I thought about my life, future endeavors, and goals.
A whirlwind of heartfelt memories flooded my mind as I reflected on my voting experience. Monday, October 20th, the first day of early voting will forever be fixed in memory. It was my first time voting, and it was the first time I had experienced history unfold. The alluring smell of southern barbecue and soulful classics of Marvin Gaye competed with songs and car honks of "Yes We Can" from jubilant campaigners driving by. My long wait in line passed seamlessly, for I made new acquaintances. Talk of optimism and piety held us together as we inched closer to the polling station. My brothers and sisters and I all nodded in agreement for what we came for--change. As I left the voting booth, I smiled and said to myself, "The rest is in God's hands." The same feeling of euphoria was tenfold on Wednesday, October 29th, when Barack Obama came to Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, FL. My friends and I stood hours in line, patiently waiting to see our singular beacon of hope. As he took the stage to Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours, a sea of supporters rushed closer with clunky cameras, cell phones, and signs in hopes of catching a glimpse of this transformational figure. In the midst of the jamboree, I noticed a petite lady, no more than five feet tall, jumping tirelessly trying to see the stage; the moonlight magnified the sweat of frustration that showered her face. Without words, I gestured her to climb onto my back to witness a piece of history. As I stood with her on my back, I closed my tearful eyes and smiled, for these promises were spoken with intimate conviction and hope. A moment of introspection consumed me as I stood still. I asked myself, "How can I be a better person?" "How can I give more of myself?" "How can I become more tenacious in achieving my goals?"
Caring for my late mother has had a significant impact on my life and career outlook. Having cared for her from high school to her demise in 2005, I have demonstrated atypical and dedicated community service. It was a challenging and enduring journey, but I became more altruistic, patient, and humble; moreover, I found my niche. I hope to provide selfless care for the sick and disabled. My unique experience along with being actively involved in restoring the quality of life for patients makes medicine appealing to me. My passion for helping others grows stronger every weekend when I help motivate and provide physical therapy for patients. Their physical and emotional scars, along with their stories, inspire me to go above and beyond to make sure they are better than when I first met them. I often empathize with new acquaintances by listening with my heart and sharing hugs of hope. To better my skills as a Physical Therapy Technician, I now volunteer to help treat challenging patients and research specialized cases that require greater understanding. Apart from learning the language of medicine, I am reaching out to my newfound family at the University of Central Florida (U.C.F.).
As a member of the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (M.A.P.S.) at U.C.F., I plan to give more to the group by undertaking a senior position and marketing the group to our community. My endeavors will not only heighten our presence on and off campus, but it will also invite prospective members to our family. While my climb may be steep, I will learn from the challenges that will arise. Learning from Barack Obama's leadership as a Young Developing Communities Project Organizer for Minorities will keep me focused and goal oriented. My involvement in M.A.P.S., Army ROTC, and Physical Therapy has, and will continue to shape me into a better person.
The extensive education that I will attain will hone and challenge my intellect. It will not only help me in interpersonal relationships, but also in professional practices. My community will share my harvest through scholarships and off-site events I hope to establish similar to that of Barack Obama. By directing money into scholarship funds for underprivileged minorities pursuing health related fields, I will help those who are in need. Serving as a skilled clinician, officer, and mentor, I hope to be one of many African Americans serving as a vital link in my community. As a result, the future of my family and neighbors will be promising.
Seeing the smiles and triumphs of my late mother drives me to bring out the best from those who need a helping hand. While Barack Obama's emergence to the White House is remarkably historic, I have been most touched by his humble leadership and selfless service. The road he has taken and what he has given to his community is a paragon of what I hope to exemplify. I hope to pave my own path of prominence by being steadfast in believing in my dreams and working hard for a greater good. Thank you, Mr. President for showing me how to shift my mantra from "Yes I can" to "Yes we can."


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