My Perfect Score Hasn’t Always Been…
Hafa Adia (Hello)!
My name is JQ, and this is my story. I was born in the United States Territory of Guam, moved to California, then settled in the City of Bremerton at age nine. My life was normal as a nine-year-old, enjoying family and friends until 2015 when my world collapsed under my feet. My mother took the wrong turn and associated with the wrong crowd. Although my mother is doing her best to get better: No kid should go through what I have experienced! Suddenly at age twelve, I became a case number for the Department of Child Protective Services (CPS). Fast forward, the love of my adopted family and the Chamorro community gave me a second chance at having a normal life again. While I have the support of family and others, the feeling of loneliness still distresses me!
Journeying through life as a teenager can be difficult, especially going through what I have been through. I don’t recall how the 'Voices of Pacific Island Nations (VOPIN)' appeared out of nowhere and offered a guiding hand that inspired me to strive for my education and help my classmates. With a passion for providing mentoring and tutoring services for our future Pacific Islander (PI) leaders at Bremerton High School, VOPIN talks the ‘real talk’ to our PI students about what the future can be if they don’t take school seriously!
One day at school, I walked into VOPIN's shared classroom office and said: I need a job! “Uncle Pat” drove me to McDonald's and coached me through interviewing skills, and after a 20-minute interview, I was hired! However, more challenges paused my opportunity to obtain the job: I didn’t have the proper documentation to complete the hiring process. Another obstacle that VOPIN stepped in and helped me resolve.
My perfect score (11/11) in my Finance Fitness class reminds me that you can overcome your fears and rise above uncertainty: May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears! (N. Mandela).
‘Si Yu’os ma’ase (Thank you)’ VOPIN for believing in me. I hope that someday, I will be able to pay forward the love and compassion of the people who helped me earn my perfect score!