Chinese Checkers

4 April 2019

The chance of winning the Lotto Jackpot is about one in fourteen million. The chance of winning the California State Lottery is one in eighteen million. And the sad reality is, that most of the lottery winners squander the opportunities that are presented to them. Many lottery winners wish they hadn’t won and hadn’t been given the power, money and fame to do what they wished.

My story is different.

Chinese Checkers Essay Example

I was four years old when my family won the green-card lottery in Hong Kong. There was no giant check with our names printed on it. There was no fancy celebration or TV interview. We simply packed everything we owned and started dreaming of a new life in a new land. We walked alongside pedestrians and the smell of heavy smoke from the taxis and trolleys in Hong Kong. Leaving the smell of peanut butter waffles at two in the morning, the giant bell that rung in the middle of the city every hour, and the crowded streets with dark alleys, my parents sacrificed the life they had so that my younger brother and I could have a better life than they were ever given the opportunity for. On May 9th, 1996, we landed in San Francisco, California.

The first day of kindergarten was the most painful memory I remember from my childhood. I kicked and screamed as my dad carried me into the classroom and told me in Cantonese “it’ll be easy, just have fun.” Soon enough, I became the leader of the annual bike race in my neighborhood. I was a four-square champion, and I never lost a game of checkers (Chinese or American). From going to Chinese school every Sunday morning for six years to completing multiplication tables in Chinese, my parents never failed to remind me every night that knowledge is the key to success. The drive that my parents instilled in me at such a young age still remains today, stronger than ever. So every day, I accomplish my full capability because it is never too early to learn one more piece on the piano, too tiring to dance my heart out one more time, or too time consuming to help one more person in need. My citizenship is a constant reminder that I need to show that I deserved the chance I was given, to my family, and most of all, myself.

Being in both my school’s honor roll and the National Honor Roll, winning awards for talent and motivation, and being chosen to speak at local and national events are pay-outs from failures that I turned into continuous trials. With every door that closes in my face I turn around and walk through a different one, landing me where I am today. One day I will attain a master’s degree and teach future winners to not take their chances for granted, because my unconditional motivation has been the key to my success.

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