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UC, Los Angeles

Federico Rodriguez

2020 BAGSF Essay

I believe that good things come to those who strive for it. My family is counting on me to get us out of the poverty cycle because they see that I have what it takes to go to college and succeed. I am also paving the path for the kids in my family because I want to ensure that they will have the determination to achieve excellence. At the age of 8, I witnessed my father getting arrested and deported back to his homeland. Ever since then, I’ve had to grow up without my father. Throughout that course of my life, I was lost, confused, and depressed. The next three years of middle school was tough, I began eating a tremendous amount of food because it made me feel good until I got bullied. Everyone was calling me names and picking on me about my body image. I was at the lowest point of my life and it made me isolate myself from others. One day, I realized that I couldn’t take the pain anymore; I had to make a change starting with myself because I felt insecure about my body image. I started losing weight by running, joining multiple sports, and exercising at home. By 8th grade, I had lost weight and I was very proud that I was able to achieve my goal. At first, I was trying to please people so they would stop saying things about me, but as more time passed, I realized that I should not care about what anyone thinks about me. I understand that at the end of the day, I only have my family, my education, and myself and that these are the areas of my life that I need to focus on.  

Because of my experiences, I have developed the drive to surpass my struggles and strive for success. In particular, I have chosen to excel in my academics and did lots of extracurricular activities after school such as working and participating in multiple programs. As much as I want to see myself succeed, I can't help but to also see many of my peers succeed as well because I want them to improve their quality of life for a better future. As I continue with my academics, I hope to learn more in college to better understand how I can best help people in terms of guidance and mentorship. In college, I hope to learn more about people's cultures to better understand where they are coming from by taking classes such as anthropology and ethnic studies. My long term goal is to graduate college and apply to medical school. This will be a dream come true because I would be the first in my family to have a college degree.  Having a college degree means that I will take the lead for my family to progress in terms of generational stability. The struggles I have experienced in life have helped me to realize the importance of my education. With this education, I can ensure that my family will not have to worry about their financial situation and be able to do things that they couldn't do like travel and entertainment. By having a college degree and a professional career, I will be able to provide for my family and provide for myself as well.