From a young age, I felt I had a calling to serve America and its citizens in some way. I always wanted to find my place in life and like a puzzle piece, I knew when I was in the right place it would just fit. I used to have a decent job at a gas pipeline, but after thinking about it I finally gathered enough courage to quit that job and chase my inner calling to serve.
Every year I always make a checklist for myself, focusing on what I want to accomplish academically, socially, and athletically that year. I believe it has helped me to focus on what is important and what things take priority in my life. Sadly, I have realized in recent weeks that my academics took precedence over a lot of other options in high school. Therefore, my advice to high school students regardless of their grade is to find a balance between fun and seriousness in their lives in order to get the most enjoyment and the best education out of their high school years.
All along, my post-secondary plan was to head straight to college after I graduated. The last few months of senior year my plans completely changed, and I became attached to the idea of a gap year. I developed a love for big cities, and New York was on my mind a lot. Living in New York seemed pretty unrealistic for me, but I still dreamed. During the summer, my plans for taking a gap year came together, and I moved to NYC for a year of service with Americorps (City Year) in August!