remember that moment. It was around 10 pm. I can even remember the exact
date. March 22, 2000. I was near the window with my feet cold from 13
hours of flight. I peered out the window. All I could see first was the
flickering lights under the gray clouds. I lost track of the lights for
a while as the plane descended through the clouds. Then again I could
see the lights again. But this time more clearly and vividly. That was
my first time to see the beauty of New York from the sky. I went numb
for a second and couldn't believe that I was actually going to step foot
on the city that the whole world is talking about. It was a new experience
for me. My dad was waiting for us, my mom, my sister and I at the airport.
I headed for the exit and walked through the first automatic door and
I started to get excited. I stopped between the two sliding doors. I felt
like I was on the border line; behind me was the old world and in front
of me was the new world. I took a step and the automatic door opened and
the chilling wind gushed in. I stepped outside the airport and took a
deep breath. I didn't know why but I stood there for a while. Along the
ride from Newark to my new house, everything was new to me, especially
the Verrazano Bridge.
I'm from a country called Myanmar. Well it used to be Burma. Life there
was ordinary. I woke up every morning and go to school. Come back from
school and do what I had to do. Everything was good for me there except
my future; I have good friends. However education system is corrupted
and there is no freedom of speech. The education there does not encourage
creative ideas and concepts. Everything goes by the book. And the future
of a student's education level depends on how much money he has. No political
talks in school. No such thing as the discussion about the government
between the teacher and the students and such things are considered illegal.
If anyone dare tried, he will not be seen the next day. The school library
has nothing except comic books. No Charles Dickens or Shakespeare.
I've always wanted to be like those successful people who started out
their lives from uncertain situations. I felt like I'm like them, having
the hard times and starting a new future in New York. That is where HarlemLive
comes in. I take it as a nurturing ground for all teenagers who want to
be successful in the future. Working at HarlemLive is a life changing
experience for me. Now here I am. I now really know who I am. I am the
kind of person who will get what he wants. The word "Impossible" is not
in my dictionary. Let's just say that I'm determined, inspired, and never
give up until I win. Yep.., until I win.
Not enough? Describe myself more?
Oh,..sorry. Well,. I like writing, but not a writer in my heart. So what
are you??? Well,..Let say I'm kind of a.....what's that word? Oh... yeah,
"Science Freak." Yep, I love astrophysics; own all of Stephen Hawking's
books. I graduated from Beacon High School with honors in Science and
Social Studies. Are you a ,.. Yes. Yes, I'm a straight A student. School
ain't that hard. Education is really important for me. That's why I didn't
follow my family to Washington DC when they moved. Didn't wanna be in
a new school in senior year. Hey,... I've travel thousands of miles. I
don't feel like traveling anymore. I'm in the bowling and chess
team in school. My dad taught me when I was like 7 how to play chess.
No,.. I've never been a chess champion, but trying to be one. If
you wanna know more about me, send me an e-mail.. "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Wow,...what a ride. I can't say how
much I love this organization. Now, I'm back in New York after 2 years
of absence. The 411 on me right now is that I have my own business working
as a technology consultant. What will I be in 5 more years? I'm sure I'll
be doing something exciting.
out what I did at HarlemLIVE!!!
with the Executive Vice President of Viacom
Panel at Columbia Teacher's College
a "Thank You" speech at Columbia for a grant given to HarlemLIVE
in front of a class at Columbia Teacher's College
Leadership Conference at Washington DC