My name is Aimee, and although I am almost 18, I still do not have my Driver’s Permit. There are many times that has crossed my mind, especially now when some of my friends already have their licenses and can drive themselves around. However, having lived in Downtown Boston my entire life, there aren’t many places I need to get to that the public transportation cannot bring me.

I have lived in Boston my entire life, and I went to elementary school both in East Boston and Chinatown. Looking back, my childhood was filled with fun. I spent lots of time with my having fun and playing with my friends. We did things like take dance classes, play basketball (in which I managed to get my glasses broken multiple times, much to the amazement of my parents) build snow forts, and read books. Even so, I also took piano lessons and went to Chinese School throughout my childhood, from elementary school until middle school.

When I transferred schools after the third grade, it was a little bit of a shock. I went from being in a school where there were only about 250 students to being in a grade with almost that many students. It was hard for me to really form close friendships throughout my time at the larger school. I guess that was also due to the fact that I was only there for three years, while most of the others had known each other since kindergarten. Also, with different people in my classes each year, it was hard for me to really get to know anyone before we were thrown in different classes again. Even though this was the case, I still am grateful for the experience, as it definitely helped me become more acquainted with being in a larger school, and therefore not be as overwhelmed with the size of BLS when I first started.

I feel like I have definitely grown since my time as a BLS student, not only vertically (even after my doctor had told me that I would stop growing taller), but also mentally. BLS has taught me much more than just academics, and I am very much appreciative of the opportunities that it has provided me with. The friends I have made in my time here are people that I know I will be lifelong friends with, as we have definitely formed strong connections and bonds.

I think I first became interested in public service when I realized the large role that it plays in my life. I have gone to public schools my entire life, as has my brother. My mother works in a public school. My father works for the state. Public service has basically been a part of my entire life, even though I didn’t realize it until later.

I first started considering public service when I joined the Summer Leadership Program, hosted by The City School. It was there that I learned about the inequalities in our society. In the program, we would go out and protest different policies around Boston. While protesting was a great way to raise awareness on policies that were negatively affecting different people, I felt as though it wasn’t really enforcing change that I wanted to see. I think the best way to really make a difference, and be able to help many people at once, is to directly represent and advocate for them and their needs, or to work with them and help them directly.

I applied for the Ward Fellowship because I wanted to learn more about our government, and the daily responsibilities of the people who work on behalf of so many others. I am so thankful for the chance to work through this fellowship, as it has definitely broadened my perspective on public service, and the opportunity to visit and talk with so many public officials has given me the chance to really be able to envision what my career could look like, and where it could lead. Although I don’t think that I will be running for any political office, I would still like to work in some sort of public service job, and be able to help others.

After college, I plan on working, and getting my graduate’s degree. I hope to lead a happy and productive life, and I welcome whatever experiences that may come with that.