My community experience was very meaningful and will always be special to me. During this time, I was working at my old elementary school, P.S. 176 (The Cambria Heights School) as a summer camp counselor. It was not only my responsibility to supervise the students during their day-to-day activities, I, in particular, assisted the Music Club in teaching participating students music theory and how to play the keyboard for an upcoming performance they would take part in. Being my first job, I was initially extremely doubtful that I would have an impact on the students since I was new to teaching younger kids. I am very grateful I was wrong.
When I first started, it was a very slow process. I had to teach these students the foundation of music theory, which involved a lot of sight-reading, note identifications, and basic counting skills. Even though we spent approximately two weeks revising music theory, they seemed very disinterested. This was expected-- all they wanted to do was play the keyboard--but I had to teach them that playing the keyboard is pointless without the proper knowledge behind it. Moving on to the third week, they began practicing the C-Major Scale, and they were astonished by how quickly they were able to learn it. At this moment, they all realized that having the foundation of music theory was essential in learning this instrument.
Moving into the final weeks of the program, along with the Program Manager, we taught the younger kids the song “Going Home” by Antonin Dvorak, while we taught middle school students a more advanced jazz piece called “Road Song” by Wes Montgomery. We decided to make things even more interesting for the two groups of students; Instead of all the students playing the same melody on the keyboard, we wanted to see how skillful they could be with these two songs. Therefore, we made each student have their own individual section. One of the students played the bass, while another played the strings, another was responsible for the melody, and the last student carried it through with the harmony. It was my responsibility on the day of the concert to conduct the younger children in the song “Going Home”, and I was nervous since I never conducted them in front of a live audience before. But while conducting the children when they played, I felt extremely proud of them. Even though it took a lot of discipline, practicing, theory, and rehearsals, every second I spent with the children was worth it because they displayed an excellent performance on the day of their concert.
This opportunity was also serendipity because practicing with the children also inspired me to continue one of my passions of playing the piano, no matter how busy I may be. That same year I got a keyboard for my personal use, so now every day I have a constant reminder and motivation to play my favorite instrument because of the children I taught. The inspiration was mutual, which is very beautiful to me. Overall, this opportunity to give back to my community, to make a connection with the students that I will be making in the near future while taking the time to gain a love for my passion all over again was a very heart-warming experience. I was so grateful to work with them officially because I always wanted the chance to help spread creativity to the children and to give back to my school and community. I am glad that I was a part of that process. This is why this community service is very meaningful to me and it will definitely be an experience I will never forget, no matter how far I go in life.
Although music and musical education are one of my passions, medicine is my main passion. The experiences that I had learning and teaching children will translate to what I will do in the medical field as well. The main thing I learned while working there was that some things take time and patience for them to blossom into success. Having this value will be a very great trait to have while working in medicine. Becoming a physician is an extensive process, and having the ability to have the proper patience to achieve this goal may be challenging, but I know that each day I put into my studies will be worth it because, in the end, I will have the skill to show all the hard work and effort I put in for this accomplishment.
One of the reasons why I chose to dive into the medical field was that I love the idea of helping others with their situations. There were incidents such as my father suffering from kidney stones, and I couldn’t do anything because I was impotent. I am very grateful that my family is alive and well today, which motivates me to help the people that surround me with their physical, mental, and emotional needs. Being able to assist others is second nature to me, and I always do the best I can in any situation I put myself in. In addition, I always help and give back to my school and community because the notion of lending a helping hand when necessary is very important to me. I accomplish this through the National Honor Society, where it is our responsibility and duty to give back to our school and community. While being a part of this organization, I have participated in numerous walks such as the Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer Walks to help fight these diseases and show support for the people who need them. In addition, for the past three years, I have been tutoring middle school students in Mandarin. I also help raise money for our school with bake sales and donate to canned food drives. In my opinion, being helpful is a powerful characteristic to have while being in the medical field, a trait essential to becoming a great doctor.