I never got to live with both of my parents under the same roof at the same time. It was always with one or the other. My parents separated when I was only a year and a half year old. I lived with my father and my step mom until I turned fourteen years old and moved in with my mother in America, where she lived. Both my parents had come to an agreement to let me and my brother, Audrey, live with her. The real reason behind us moving into a new country was due to the better opportunities of succeeding that there are in America than in Cameroon, our original birthplace.
The idea of traveling didn't really matter to me except the fact that we obviously had to travel by plane in order to get to America. It was our first time to ride in a plane before and this travel is still the most adventurous I have ever done in my life. As I entered the first plane which stopped in Switzerland, it felt like a magic place to me. As the plane was taking off, I felt like vomiting and started feeling dizzy and scared that I would fall. Since there was no adult traveling with my brother and I, I had to hang to the unknown passenger's arms while the plane was taking off and landing on the ground.
Our flight went well, even though we responded to people's question by nodding our heads because no one could speak French. Other than the late arrival of our mother and other family members at the airport to pick us up, everything went well. We arrived in America in mid-July of 2009 and started school in the fall of the same year. I was sent to attend Montgomery Blair High School, one of the top high schools in the state of Maryland. I started school as a freshman and was happy not to have been asked to repeat 8th grade like most immigrants, who are usually asked to repeat their last grade.
The first couple of months of school in America were the most horrible moments of life. It was really hard to get used to the American system. The fact that I couldn't speak any English at that time is what made everything worse and the fresh black and dark skin that I had left Cameroon with also played a role in all this.
My mother who had lived here two year before our arrival always taught me that a person should help his or her community in order to succeed and it is something that I have always noticed about Americans. Following my mom’s advice about helping out the community, I started volunteering at some events such as street cleaning, creek cleaning, garden planting, homeless walk, green festival, and so many others that I can’t remember. My academic excellence have allowed me to be a member the National Honor Society and WEB Du Bois Honor Society, which also provide us with volunteering opportunities.
I really had a tough time trying to assimilate to the American society and cultures but the hope of becoming someone great who can make a difference in the world, especially for my family, made me get through it really fast. This hope of mine is what has made me maintain an unweighted Grade Point Average of 4.00 and decide to pursue a goal in either a medical or an engineering career.
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