Trip of a lifetime

Empowering students through summer travel experiences

Sergie Rodriguez

20 February 2016

Topic: Describe an experience, achievement, or risk you have taken that has changed you as a person. This could be a negative experience from which you have learned, a positive experience of which you are proud of, or a risk that has helped you grow as a person.

The experience that has changed me as a person, for the rest of my life is my grandmother's passing. Her name was Carmen Lydia Rodriguez. She was my grandmother from my father's side. I do not know much about her but I know that she was a very strong and bold lady. For what I hear she did not put up with anyone, she was a confident women all her life and she was a boss, nobody could tell her anything; People were intimidated of her, she was such a respected women. The reason her passing changing me as a person is because growing up I did not want a relationship with my dad or my dads side of the family because I never seen him, they always called me but I never wanted to talk to them, for the simple fact that they were not there for my birthdays or for my first steps. But little did I know the reason, I did not know why he was not around I was just being very ignorant. My dad is in Dominican Republic, but he does not have a visa so of course he can not see me but 5 year old me did not know anything about visa, all I knew was my mother was always around but my dad was not. In January before she passed I took a visit to her at her house in the Bronx and met most of my family and I realized how much I have in common with them. A week after my visit she went to The Dominican Republic and passed away next to my dad and my brother and they called me and told me but it was just an eye opener that life is way too short to hold grudges. Live life because you are going to regret it when it is too late. Ever since January I have been keeping in touch with my family and I am talking mostly everyday.

This taught me to not take anything for granted, always take advantage of the opportunity planning on visiting them more often and building a relationship with them. We have been because tomorrow is not promised. If you see something go for it, stop being ignorant and childish and just take things for how they are and accept it, work around it and to appreciate every single second you have because the life you are living is a blessing. Since January I changed how I treat my family, because I was not very big with family, I kept to myself and just kept my distance but now at family events I am always out enjoying time with them. I wish I would have knew when I was younger. I might have not been close with my grandmother but the pain is still there. I am very glad I am not the person I used to be,

I am not proud of who I was, but I guess there is time and place for everything. I am at the point where I just want to be with family and keep myself busy with school and my program. I have been volunteering in different events, like giving food to homeless people and visiting the elderly, also I am planning on making a trip to hospital with kids because that is what I really want to do. I am at a very good place in my life right now, I just want to experience life as cliche as I keep repeating myself is just the truth, I do not ever want to lose this feeling.

Months later.. July 19, 2016
Today, I feel like the person I said I wanted to be when my grandmother died. I have done a whole 360, I focused on what important in my life. These last few months have been nothing but new beginnings and giving back the community. I have been doing things that I would have never thought i’d be able to! I had just came back from a trip to Santa Barbara, California; In California I was helping out the community by a program called Girls Inc. , which is a program of inspiring young girls ages 4 and up to be smart, strong and bold. That experience was just incredible and amazing, inspiring young ladies to be scientist and whatever they put their mind too. While inspiring and help educating them, I got to know a couple of girls on a personal level, She was 6 years old and I would always see how sad and how she would always be crying but then there were days when she was al happy and jumpy laying basketball. But it was this instant attachment I have got to her and she found herself speaking to me about her problems, she had a mom who was a surgeon and her dad was always working at a University. It reminded me as a child, how my parents were never around and how it would always affect my school work and how I never wanted to speak to anyone and how I grew up to be very anti-social,. But unlike her, I did not have someone there for me, but I made sure she was always well, I always checked up on her, always let her know that she was amazing and that she was so bright, and to never doubt herself. The staff in the program would always tell me she did not speak to just anyone. Everyone kept saying how much I was impacting her life but little did she know how much she was impacting mine. How we, always take things for granted and we always expect the way how we live today would be the way how we live forever, and you know it is not like that. I felt like this little girl was my reflection, and I did not want her to be sad all the time because it would just be a complete waste of time. All these years holding grudges upon my family and all I was end with was a bunch guilt and regret, yeah it made me into this person I am today but I really wish someone was there for me. I just want to give all the help I can to the youth, because out of all stages of your life, being a kid/teenager are the years that will reflect you the most, what type of college you get into, weather you end up in jail or dead, it all depends on you and the things around you. I am so grateful for meeting her, the world does not feel small anymore.

  • testimonialImg

    "I may be multiracial and I may be living in the ghetto but what I am going to do with my life is going to be historical."



    "I may be multiracial and I may be living in the ghetto but what I am going to do with my life is going to be historical."


    Alphonso

  • testimonialImg
    “This trip made me realize that there’s more to the world than the South Bronx.”
    “This trip made me realize that there’s more to the world than the South Bronx.”

    Selina

  • testimonialImg

    "I am really and forever will be thankful to Trip of a Lifetime for giving me such an exceptional experience this summer that will be forever remembered."

    "I am really and forever will be thankful to Trip of a Lifetime for giving me such an exceptional experience this summer that will be forever remembered."

    Jennifer

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