My Personal Accomplishment version 2

There are two experiences, which are very important to me. The first is being part of the Leland High School Speech and debate Team. The second is doing volunteer work at the World Children’s Fund (WCF). These experiences make me proud because they help me develop myself and give back to society at the same time. Through these experiences, I am able to enrich others as I enriched myself.

Debate has always been my favorite subject. Engaging in a debate incorporates two distinctive life-learning skills. They are public speaking and problem solving. Most people are afraid of speaking in front of many people. However, I do not seem to be like “most people”. I do not fear public speaking. Instead, I enjoy it. I relish the feeling of standing in front of many people and being free to express myself. I savor the exhilaration of knowing that people listen to what I say.

This makes me feel important and fulfilled. However, it is not only the feeling that matters. The skills, values and knowledge I acquire are also important. Through debating, I am able to develop my critical thinking and my creativity. I learn to examine arguments carefully and quickly to be able to retort wisely and on time. Debating also helps me improve my focus. A problem to be debated has certain limits. Relevant issues and controversies should not be ignored.

Similarly, irrelevant issues and controversies should not be introduced. Lastly, debate exposes me to a wide range of topics- from international issues to national issues. Many facts I learned through debating, such as the Jenna 6 incident, has helped me a great deal during my high school years. I also learned a lot from seminars and trainings such as the Parliamentary Debate Camp held by the Stanford University National Forensic Institute.

Another reason debate is important to me is that it helps me develop a sense of fulfillment. It helps me believe that I am capable of doing something. In the Parliamentary Debate Camp, I became a quarter-finalist in the Parliamentary Debate Varsity Division. I was also awarded the Super Distinction of National Forensic League this fall. I am able to prove my leadership skills by being the Chairman of the Parliamentary Debate Team.

As the leader, I am responsible for around thirty freshman students and some older members. It is my responsibility to give lectures about debating and help others develop the capability to compete in upcoming tournaments. I run two classes a week and had completed over 100 PowerPoint lectures, by the end of the second semester last year. I also hold mock debates and private tutorial sessions to help other students to catch up.

As the Chair, it is also my responsibility to communicate with other schools that are interested with debating, and give advice and information to administrators, students, and parents. For example, just last year, I assisted Bret Harte Middle School in creating a debate team. I confer with parents and students at the Bret Harte Middle School Cafeteria and give them tips on how to create a successful debate team. Knowing that people trust me with these responsibilities and that I am able to perform these responsibilities gives me a sense of accomplishment and allows me to believe in my own abilities as a debater, a thinker, a team member, a teacher and a leader.

Another experience that I value the most is doing volunteer work for the WCF. It is a non-profit organization engaged in giving humanitarian aid to help and rescue children in need in developing countries, including those who are abandoned, distressed, endangered, exploited, homeless, hungry, sick or suffering. I coordinate production of humanitarian packages for distribution.

We place stuffed animals, drinking water, MREs, antibiotics, band-aids, medical equipments, and other essential items into boxes and ship them to countries such as the Philippians, Africa, Vietnam and other developing nations. I consider helping in the WCF as one of my community obligations. It is an “obligation” because I believe that it is my duty as a member of society to always give back.

Even though I cannot carry out more demanding roles like going directly to other countries, my contribution is also important. I feel that I am actually changing the world little by little. Through these experiences, I am able to give kindness and aid to others the same way that I received kindness and aid when I needed them most. Like these children, there was a time in my life when I was in need of help and attention too.

This happened when I first came to the United States in 1996. I was then a foreigner who does not know how to speak English and communicate with the people around me. This made my assimilation into the American culture difficult. However, a few individuals took initiative to help me fit in. These individuals inspired me and my assimilation happened faster. Looking back, I still remember a 7-year-old child on his first day of school as a foreign exchange student sitting on a bench alone. He is bewildered with the English language and is too afraid to try to speak.

He cried all night that night in bed. The next day, he expected to be alone again, but someone reached over and stuck a cookie in his mouth- a chocolate chip cookie. This led to a conversation and, by the time lunch break ended, the two children were already best friends. This initiated his acceptance into the society that he did not yet fully understand. It is a wonder how this foreign exchange student grew up to be me, not anymore alone and afraid of not being understood. It is also a wonder how, after eleven years, Corey Tucker, the boy with the cookie, is still my true and best friend.

Yesterday, I proudly recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Even though I do not fully understand the meaning of “America”, I understand that America is the place where I belong. This feeling of acceptance was made by the kind efforts of the friends I made that day, most especially by Corey. Through the years, many other Corey Tuckers came into my life. This time, I want to be a Corey Tucker too. I want to be able to help others and give back the kindness I have received before. At present, knowing that I am able to do this through my debate class and the WCF gives me a feeling of calmness, peace and satisfaction that money cannot buy.

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