I have always been a very reserved person; but in my earlier years I was a bit too reserved. In fact, sometimes anti-social, like a turtle in its shell. My mother can vouch for this because when we first moved here, translating for her in public was so intimidating. My quiet manner stemmed from my preconceived notion that anything I did, or anything I said was insignificant. The personal challenges that surrounded were enough to stifle my outward look on everything. This dramatically changed when I became part of Girls Inc. of Lynn. There I felt safe, I could be myself. I did not feel judged. I was accepted, shy or not. I became a member when I was seven years old. It was around this time that Girls Inc. cemented forever its place in my life. One day, a talent show was being held in the old Girls Inc. on Broad Street and all the girls showcased their talents. Being the shyest girl in the entire place, I simply watched from the crowd. My only thoughts were ‘I want to be just like them’ because they weren’t afraid. At the age of fourteen when I started as a volunteer at Girls Inc., I started to realize the younger girls noticed and cared when I spoke to them. I started gaining this confidence I had never seen before. Soon after that, I joined the teen programs, and through them I became a Posse Scholarship awardee and attended Denison University. As a senior at Denison, I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in France. If it isn’t evident, things changed for me when I became a member of Girls Inc. Genuinely, I embrace myself as a person because the people at Girls Inc. along with my mother, continued to reassure me that I AM SIGNIFICANT, despite the struggles.