When I go out with my family to social outings or dinner with their friends, I always get asked that one question: what do you want to do in the future. Usually they expect an answer of a doctor, scientist, lawyer, politician, or anything along those lines. Sometimes I say doctor and sometimes I say I want to work in the government but I’m never quite sure which one I want to do. When I think about being a doctor, I think about how many lives I can save but then I think about all those topics that I’m not very fond of in Biology. Then I think about working in the government but then I remember what I learned in American Foreign Policy, about all those corrupt things that government officials have done in the past. So what do I really want to do in the future? Well, one day when I was in the shower, I had an epiphany. I was standing there thinking about how my one big goal is being able to help others and impact their lives in a beneficial way. Then I thought, in order to help people, you don’t have to be a doctor or lawyer. In fact, you can be whatever you like and still help people. I can go anywhere in the world and there will always be help needed. That’s when I decided that whatever I end up doing, I just need to accomplish the goal of helping others.
Being an intern at UMASS Building Authority may not seem very impressive, but when you think about it, I’m playing a role in establishing all those buildings that are used by thousands of students every day. UMASS Amherst has more than 22,000 students and there are still four more additional campuses. At our meeting with Brian Golden, he told us how he can go around Boston and see all the buildings that he took part in building, which sounds pretty amazing. Last year, when I worked for the Boston Public Schools in the Human Resources department at 26 Court Street, I met the assistant superintendent Ann Chan. One day, Ann told me what I wanted to do and I told her that my parents most likely want me to do science, law, or economics. In reply, she told me that I shouldn’t limit myself to those options. She showed me around the building and told me how every department and every person contributes to helping all the teachers that work in the Boston Public Schools system. She said that any job I do is a small part that contributes to helping one part of the whole system. That conversation with Ann really inspired me to pursue what I like and it made me realize that anything I do is a way of helping others.
In addition to Ann’s motivational talk, two events during the school year helped me decide what I really wanted to do with my life. Joining the Jubilee Project club was one of them. Jubilee Project is a movement where the mission is to spread awareness and inspire change. I was mostly attracted to this mission when I joined and as I participated in various Jubilee Project activities, I fell in love with the thought of spreading kindness. For example one project we did was the 12 Days of Kindness, where every day we had a mission to do. The other event is when my brother recommended me a book called Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. This book is about Paul Farmer, who works at Brigham in Boston and also founded a hospital in Haiti. Paul Farmer goes back and forth from Boston to Haiti, helping patients. I remember one quote from the book that really stuck with me, which was when Tracy Kidder asked Paul Farmer why he never slept, and in response, Paul said that there is no time to sleep because there are so many people out there who need help. After reading this book, I set Paul Farmer as my role model because he is the type of person I would like to be when I’m older.