When I turned 8 years old, I had an ear infection that would ultimately change my life. This ear infection would also change the entire way I approach my own life. On a normal day before this infection, I could sit wherever I chose, whether that’s in the front, in the back, or anywhere in between. I was able to listen to my classmates, my parents, and my teachers without a second thought. Once I was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears, I could no longer have that luxury. I was required by the teacher, and by my parents to sit in the front of class so that I would not have a hard time hearing what the teacher was discussing. I was constantly asked if I heard what was said, and if I needed anything to be repeated a second, or third time. While this doesn’t seem too difficult to overcome, one can imagine my self-esteem had taken a hard hit. I felt I was unable to function on my own. I was now always having to do more work because of my disability, and as a result I felt lower than my classmates. That meant an extra teaching class that would make me miss the classes that I normally would take. Another problem was with the students at school. Someone who was an already shy kid, was now faced with a dilemma of being made fun of while still adjusting to this new life style that he was given. Constantly kids would mock me by sarcastically saying, “What?” after I would ask them that very same question. I was not able to comprehend their statement, and I wanted to hear it again, but with more focus. However to them, it was a convenient and easy attempt to mock and embarrass me. These realities were not only in elementary school, but in middle school, and some in high school as well. While high school was the tail end of the mockery, middle school was the heart of it. In addition to students walking by and purposefully whispering to others knowing that I could not hear them, or kids avoiding me because I was “weird,” my parents made me wear a hearing aid so I didn’t have to feel like an outsider. These situations made me dread going to school as going to class was actually the best part about my day. As of a result to this, I did not have many friends, so during lunch time, and break, I would play cards with students inside a classroom to pass the time. While it was tough to go through, the lack of friends was actually a blessing in disguise. In middle school, I had the best GPA I have ever had. The lack of friends allowed me to solely focus on my education, thus me having my best academic year. It could be said that my lack of hearing combined with my quirks, allowed me to focus more so on school, and less on friends.

As I grew older the hearing factor became less pronounced in terms of my education. I now actively choose to sit toward the front in my college classes, and my performance academically is no longer affected by my hearing ability. If I feel its necessary I will walk up to my professor before or after class to let them know of my situation. The one thing that is paramount, is the importance of this scholarship opportunity. My hearing disability has made school as a child much harder for me to go through, and yet I am a better person for it. As I previously mentioned in the short statement portion of this application, this scholarship would help me achieve my dream of becoming the first Kaiser in my family to go to a 4 year university. Being the final young male Kaiser of my entire family, I feel I have a crucial obligation to further continue my lineage, by doing something great with my life that I have been given, hardships and all. That something great starts right here, and right now. I hope that this essay sheds some light on the long road that I have endured to get where I am today. I am thankful for all the students who made fun of me, to help me become a stronger human being, I thank all the support I have received from family and friends pursue this dream I have inside of me. I thank the reader for giving me a chance to apply for this wonderful scholarship opportunity. Thank you for your consideration.

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