I believe one of the most precious gifts you can give someone is the gift of knowledge. It is such a gratifying feeling that you gain from just knowing that in some way you have influenced someone else's life. Sometimes knowledge can even have a domino effect by spreading rapidly from one person to the next, and thus create an impact so large that it can change people's opinions or make them perhaps take a different perspective on matters.
By joining a ThinkQuest team, I was hoping that I, too, could make a difference in other's lives by helping to make a creative website full of insightful information that would make people want to learn more about fairgrounds and amusement parks.
Having the opportunity to work with two other team members along with their coaches was great. Not only did I bare witness to their dedication and hard work, but I also was able to really get to know Robin and Kyle on a more personal level. It feels as if we all have known each other for years, when, in fact, we have never actually met in person. One thing is for sure, our friendship will continue long after the completion of this project.
Since all of us have had such fond memories of amusement parks, I found researching this topic to be quite interesting and enjoyable. Some of the places I have visited are Disneyland, Disney World, Dreamworld, Enchanted Village (in Salem, Oregon), and several state fairs in both Oregon and Washington. I know the next amusement park that I go into, I will not be able to look at it the same way I used to, for I will have a much greater appreciation for everything than I had before.
Working on computers is just one of the many things that I enjoy doing. However, my favorite outdoor activity is running! Sports have always been such a large part of who I am today. When I was young and all the way up until my junior year in high school, I played both basketball and soccer. I also was involved in softball for many years, but as with the other two sports, I grew tired of doing the same sport every year. That is when I decided to give cross country and track a try both my junior and senior year. It didn't take long before I was hooked and had developed a love for the sport that I am sure will never leave me. By my senior cross country season, I had worked my way up to the number one girls position on our team and later was one of two people from our team to make it to state. While at state, I placed 31st out of 150 runners. Not long after, I received a letter saying that I was invited to run as part of the Washington team in the Down Under Cross Country International Games in Australia. I knew what a once and a lifetime opportunity it would be for me. I couldn't think of any better way to end my high school running career than with two races held in Australia.
While at the Gold Coast, our first race we competed in was the All American Meet covering approximately 3.6 miles where I finished 16th out of about 185. Our next race was three days later in which we added the Australian teams and even though I improved my time by 50 seconds, because there were more girls, I still placed 16th overall. Everyone on my team improved their times drastically, partly due to feeling jetlagged in the race before. In fact, one of our guys actually ended up placing third in the last race. Not only had all my previous training to go to Australia paid off, but I felt great in knowing that it was my diligence in fundraising that really made this trip possible for me. My dreams always continue, as someday I hope to be able to qualify to run in a marathon. Besides running, you will be able to find me out mountain biking on trails, snow skiing during the winter, water-skiing or occasionally swimming in the summer. Basically, I love to try anything that is athletic.
Academically, this past year, I have brought closure to a number of things. One was being able to graduate not only with honors and in the top 10% of my senior class from West Valley High School, but also from Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC) with honors as well as with two degrees. This was all made possible through the Running Start program offered at my high school to those students who would like to challenge themselves by taking college courses while still in high school.
Taking advantage of this program allowed me to receive both my Associate of Arts - Business Option and my Associate of Science Degree. While I was at YVCC, I was able to explore many fields of interest and ended up finding business to my liking.
This upcoming school year, I look forward to attending the Business School at the University of Washington as a junior. I have also been accepted into the Accounting Option there and plan on becoming a CPA and then heading off to law school. In about two years, I hope to study abroad in Spain, as I have always wanted to become fluent in Spanish. Ever since I went on a European Pilgrimage to Spain, Italy, and France with fifty other people from my church (the Holy Family Parish in Yakima, Washington), I have wanted to return to Spain.
I believe that you should never stop dreaming or setting high goals because anything is possible and all the hard work you put into accomplishing your dreams and goals will eventually pay off!