"Two years ago I participated in a statewide journalism contest. I was named a finalist in the 'Best Writing' category. I was proud and excited. Unfortunately, the award ceremony was in San Francisco and due to the costs involved I could not attend. It wasn't until my plaque arrived in the mail that I learned I had won first place. It was a bittersweet moment.
"Something I can do today that I couldn't do last year is to be more confident in myself. I was elected president of the Kiwanis of Downey. It has given me more opportunities to be in front of people. During Christmas last year, we had a celebration for under-advantage families. I had to address around 20 first- and second-graders and their families and keep them entertained. Activities like these have given me more confidence to be in front of an audience and to meet new people."