I am a graduate of Boston Latin School, Class of 2013, and I will be a freshman at Harvard University this fall, concentrating in economics. During high school, I was a member of the Boston Latin Track team and Model United Nations. I have competed in environments such as the State Relay Championship for track and specialized committees for Model United Nations. Although vastly different, both of these activities have shaped the person I am today.

In order to understand my interest in public service, it’s important to look at my family history. After leaving China, my father came to the United States with no possessions except clothing, arriving in Boston during the middle of winter with only t-shirts. While he originally sought a college education, he realized that his minimal wages would not be able to support his endeavors. The American dream had slipped away from him. He worked long nights in order to bring my mother over from China and support his family.

Growing up and seeing the struggles of my immigrant parents, I’ve always wondered about the function and importance of government. I remember following along with the 2004 Presidential Election, with Massachusetts Senator John Kerry challenging President George W. Bush. I always asked questions about how government functioned as a whole and how new legislation would affect my personal life. Today, I still pose those questions, except with a more focused view as an adult, having gone through various experiences.

Two years ago, I completed “InIt,” a social justice program by the YWCA. I learned about the different types of struggles that people face on a daily basis by participating in various workshops. In one example, I went to the site of Occupy Boston and interviewed people in order to understand the socio-economic difficulties that the people of Boston faced. It was a powerful experience, and by the time I graduated from the program, I felt compelled to accomplish more for my community.

Last summer, I was an intern at Nixon Peabody, an international law firm. It was a great experience that allowed me to explore different areas of interest. I completed several projects for marketing, involving social media and business reports. On the other hand, I worked on a variety of cases for attorneys, ranging from pro bono asylum to intellectual property litigation. Through my internship at Nixon Peabody, I met my mentor, Lawrence DiCara, a former Boston city councilor. He urged me to be involved in public service, telling me that it was one of the most rewarding experiences of his career.

Through my various experiences, I have come to realize many issues with our government that can be rectified. I believe that there is a lack of diversity in representation of the American people and the efficiency between the various branches can be improved. Although my main interest is business, I always hope to be involved in public service and to help my community. America is going through a time of great change and it is my responsibility to shape and improve my society.