How i was Born into a Diverse Family
I was raised by an Italian mother and father as well as a stepfather who was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Having both Italian and Puerto Rican parents has allowed me to grow up learning about two very different cultures, languages, and traditions.
The Italian within me has been built upon the work of two families that traveled from Milan in the north and Sicily in the south, joining in Chicago, and encouraging their Children to work their hardest and one day make a living for their families. In time, this guidance was imprinted on to me. All of my life, it has been of great importance to me to make my Nani proud through remaining dedicated and focused in all aspects of my life. As a first-generation college student I have aspired to live in my great-grandmothers footsteps and create a life for myself and my future family.
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My mother and father divorced when I was two years old, and about one year later is when my stepfather entered my life. Since the age of three I have been afforded the opportunity to experience the Puerto Rican culture and even spend some of my time visiting Puerto Rico. Throughout my life I have learned the language, customs, and morals embedded within my Puerto Rican family, which have now become a part of who I am.
Although these two cultures practice different traditions, eat different foods, listen to different music, and hold some different beliefs, both sides of my family have a great respect for one another and focus on their similarities in order to blend harmoniously. Our family focuses on the fact that both cultures are based on hard work, loyalty, compassion, caring for others, and giving back. Growing up with this example of individuals with two different cultures and traditions blending together instead of separating due to differences has taught me the importance and value of living life with an open mind.
I am committed to a goal of always being open to understanding the views and opinions of others especially, because, I am entering a field where team work is critical. I believe in order to learn and grow as individuals we must be responsive to others and the knowledge they are able to offer. I hope to bring what I have learned about diversity to the OT program at MUSC as well as to my future career as an Occupational Therapist.