SN&R’s 2012 College Essay Contest second place

<p>Name: Marina Korniychuk</p><p>Now attending: San Juan High School</p><p>College she’ll attend: Sacramento State</p><p>Plans to study: Nursing</p><p>Personal Motto: “Make a difference in the world by simply helping others. Brighten the world by simply smiling to others. Change the world by simply achieving your goals.”</p>

Name: Marina Korniychuk

Now attending: San Juan High School

College she’ll attend: Sacramento State

Plans to study: Nursing

Personal Motto: “Make a difference in the world by simply helping others. Brighten the world by simply smiling to others. Change the world by simply achieving your goals.”

Photo by Priscilla Garcia

Second Place

“A calling to help others”

It was a cold November in Ukraine. My feet fell into the freezing, fluffy snow. Cold heavy air took my breath as I sprinted to my neighbor’s house. As I approached the house, my neighbor came out; it seemed as if she was waiting for me.

“Call the ambulance,” I said with a trembling voice, “My mom is dying.”

I stood transfixed as the white and red blinking lights faded into the cold bitter night, taking my mom away. Tears rolled down my cheeks, I wanted to help, take the pain away, but what could I do, being only 6? This was the moment I realized, I could maybe do more than just bring her pills nightly for her illness.

My dad always wanted to become a doctor. He enjoyed helping people, but his life led him down a different path. Just like my dad, my mom also wanted to be a doctor. But growing up in a Christian family in the USSR, it was prohibited for Christians to work in hospitals during that time. As a child, I watched doctors helping people, knowing that it could have been my mom or dad. My passion for becoming a doctor grew bigger and bigger. Doctors are my heroes; I’m impressed with their accomplishments.

My mom always suffered from high blood pressure. Every time she was taken to the hospital, I was there with her. I wanted to help her out in any way possible. I rejoiced when she came home alive. It gave me a feeling of success, because my dream was to help people. We had a family of seven who always supported my dreams and inspired me to be a good student in school.

My parents always said, “Your knowledge will follow you until the end.” Living in a low-income family made me try harder to fulfill my dream of being in health care, to help sick people all over the world. My dream is to go to poor countries and help people who can’t afford professional medical care. This is my passion, from that night; I became interested in helping people.

As a child, I pretended I was a doctor in play, and every time someone actually needed help, I was there to apply a Band-Aid or give my mom, brothers and sisters their medicine. This is what made me a stronger person.

In my church, we often go visiting older people that are paralyzed; I love helping them, spending time with them, and watching their lovely smiles appear quickly on their faces: Hearing their appreciative voice saying “Thank you” or “God bless you,” warms my heart.

I enjoy helping people. It helps me go through different challenges in school, like taking AP classes, as well as at home helping my family. I’ve learned the inner feeling or reward of helping others and receiving help in return.

To see my dream become alive, I joined AVID (a program for college-bound students) and became an example to other students. When I go to college, I will do everything possible to fulfill my dream that was born that bitter night when I was only 6. I have learned that, although I could not help my mother get better when I was 6, I can help others now. By helping others in the medical field, I will be able to help them in ways I couldn’t help my mom. Not only will this make my parents proud, but it will also allow me to help other children living a similar experience.