My world is a beachside. Houston, Texas is filled with immense diversity yet to be explored just like our vast bodies of water. With that diversity comes with a variety of values held on by each individual, and together, it creates a community that has proudly shaped me into who I am.

My family is the water. Always there. Loud and present. Encompassing me with love. Without it, the beachside would be a desert, dry and nearly lifeless. My parents taught me the importance of embracing not only my culture, but they also exposed me to the beauty that lies beyond my roots so I could embrace my surroundings and learn about other cultures. My older brother taught me how to swim. From there, I dove through many obstacles and nearly drowned through failure, but I persevered despite how much water filled my lungs; my teammates and coaches pushed me to "just keep swimming." They taught me the value of hard work and resilience and how to be humble.

Sometimes I encounter a chipped shell along the shore. My friends and teachers have taught me that a chipped shell is as beautiful as a whole shell, just like people. Because of their kindness, they influenced me to be understanding and I developed my love for helping others.

Like an oyster, bits of different qualities slip in from my community so I form pearls. I will bring the warm Houston sun to shine on anywhere I go with love and kindness and offer a little piece of every culture to my peers.