|Scholarship Status:||Awarded 2nd Place|
|Scholarship Awarded:||Achievement Scholarship|
|University:||California State University, Long Beach|
|Date of Graduation:||Spring 2018|
The last two school years have been the hardest time of my life. In my third year, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. This was a shock to our family that penetrated menacingly deep. Her composure, endurance, drive, fight, and compassion through the most adverse situation was admirable beyond expression. That school year was a struggle to say the least. The following year, September 2016, I fell extremely ill this time. After being sick for a while, I was hospitalized for a week with an abscess in my intestine. The seriousness of my illness shocked me, as I thought I was coming through a simple curable state. Each morning, waking up in the hospital, the doctors would visit me; and each day as they would discuss my condition, they would tell me “we are going to keep you one more day.” This statement cut deeper and deeper as I heard it day after day. Finally, after three surgical procedures, six months of medication and infusion treatment, and seemingly countless dollars spent on my health, I emerge a transformed person. Having my mother as such a pattern in her time of trials was such a blessing and inspiration to me as I met my sickness head on. My experience in dealing with the tribulations of the last two years has motivated me to pursue my education and my career with a renewed intensity. It has taught me to take nothing for granted. You must seize the opportunities set before you and run with them with everything you have. Fully motivated by this experience, I applied and got a job with the City of Huntington Beach in the Public Works Department. I ran for ASCE CSULB president, and I was elected to the position. Being in such a low point in my life, caused me to pursue higher goals, and strive for more. Working with the Public Works Department in Huntington Beach has given me some understanding of civil engineering in the professional world. Each day when I leave work, I am constantly finding that I have learned something new. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn my field of study in such an atmosphere that allows me to grow as a professional. I appreciate how every day I go to the office and get to work on how to make the City of Huntington Beach a better, more efficient, and more pleasant place to live in. Being a civil engineer, solving problems, and making improvements is extremely rewarding. What I appreciate most about civil engineering is the community that we belong to. With organizations like ASCE there is such a great network of professionals that are available to connect to. Participating in ASCE, I have met and connected with so many different people that work and study in our great profession. Going to WSCL and meeting past, present, and future presidents Norma Jean Mattei, Kristina Swallow, and Robin Kemper and hearing their plans and goals for this country was a great experience and honor. I have connected with many members from the OC YMF group. Having these connections and meeting people who have gone before me and have been in my position before as a student or leader on campus is such a blessing and a help. ASCE has given me such an amazing support system of people who are looking out for me and wanting me to succeed in my professional career. Being the co-president of the Long Beach State student chapter, and having an internship in the civil engineering field, I have had so much exposure and contact with civil engineering professionals. Through these, I am gaining great experience in our field on top of the courses I am taking. As a civil engineer, of course I aspire to do great things to help make this world a better place for us to live in. I aspire to work on great and expansive projects that have such a resounding impact on the community. However, most of all, I aspire to have a positive effect on people at a much deeper level. My goal, as I work and progress in my career, is to share my knowledge and experiences with whoever is in need of guidance or assistance. One thing I excel in is communicating with and mentoring the ones around me. As ASCE president of the Long Beach student chapter, I have had much experience sharing with others and helping the members of our organization put themselves in a more advantageous position; to help them see, and take advantage of the resources around them. As I move on and graduate, I hope to use my experiences, as well as the experiences of others shared with me, to give back to those willing to learn and willing to take advantage of the great community we have as civil engineers. By utilizing this great organization, ASCE, and the provisions of groups like YMF, I will be able to accomplish this goal of sharing knowledge long into my civil engineering career. Our community will grow and our civil engineering community will flourish.