It started in Queens, New York. The borough of 800 languages.
I was born in Queens, NY, the most diverse area in the world. I've been lucky enough to be exposed to all cultures of all communities. I've lived my life with the understanding of all people right at my doorsteps. My parents came to this country and raised a beautiful family to have opportunities in this great country and it was their upbringing that led me to learn as much as I could to do well and become something in this great society. My childhood was not much different than other youth around this country, it was fun, rewarding and often times, difficult.
Being a Patriot in America.
In high school, I was a Patriot cadet for the Francis Lewis High School Patriot Battalion. The JROTC program was a great organization to be a part of. Although I was not the best cadet, I do look back and appreciate what was done for myself and many others in our diverse community. We were given the chance to do incredible deeds with nearby organizations. We marched in many parades, and held fundraisers. Every Christmas we would collect toys and canned goods for our Christmas objectives for underserved children around the world. These values showed me the power of what happens when driven young people can work together and push towards a common goal.
My family is Chinese and Ecuadorian, we have some Carribean there, but that part of my family history is lost. Being a diverse kid in Queens wasn't really a big deal. I know that shocks some people, but in New York city that doesn't define you, you're gonna have to do better than that. What defined you is whether you were tolerant of other people or not. New York City is a dysfunctional family and there was just an unspoken code of ethics of tolerance, no matter what color your skin was. I often found that being from New York City, we are all mixed and diverse. You can have Indian food for breakfast, Italian food for lunch and Asian cuisine for dinner, no matter what color your skin was. In many ways, we all were incredibly diverse by virtue of just being in New York.
My family never had much money growing up, my dad was a super and also had to work another job to get by. New York City became more expensive as the years passed. Growing up during high school I would help him with building repairs and the bills. I learned a lot about communication with people of different personalities and he instilled a hard work ethic in me. A work ethic that I hold to this day, never give up. I was first introduced to the internet when we got a sample computer from the stores. We didn't have the internet, but an encyclopedia software that covered topics from all over the world. I would look at other countries and read their history and learn about things I'd never known before. Even though this wasn't the internet, it was the first feeling of reaching out to the world through a computer. I think the internet was expensive at the time, and my father would let me use this as an alternative. I think he just told me it was the internet. The things our parents do for us, I'm grateful he did.
Fast forward to graduating college, I remained a tech and computer fanatic at heart. Graduating from Queens College CUNY, I had my Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts for Media Studies and had a wonderful college experience. I specialized in Media Studies, but I took courses in politics. Now, politics was something that I enjoyed, but never really thought it would be something I did professionally. It's funny how times have changed. My state of mind at the time of graduating was nervous, but excited. So now that I had graduated college, what to do?.
I didn't just want to do media by itself. I wanted to do something involving the web as well. I had always felt comfortable with technology and understanding how to combine the two. It was then that I realized that web development was something I wanted to learn. I had danced around technology and I had used it all my life. I enjoyed building computers and understanding how the internet worked. I was comfortable with computer hardware but was a bit uneasy about the programming side of things. My goal was to work with digital media and web projects. My only obstacle? I didn't know how to properly code. I had learned bits and pieces from my Xanga blog, but I never taught myself to properly do it. So I decided to self teach myself.
I decided to combine my knowledge of digital media and enhance my computer skills by learning Front End Web Development. It took a while to get comfortable with web development because I worked full time while learning these web languages. It was difficult, especially considering there were more and more languages to learn over time. There were times where I thought it wasn't going to work out, but I just told myself to never give up. Now I feel comfortable with digital media and web design. I am currently working with political organizations and campaigns to design websites for them and giving back to this great country that has given me so much. I am truly a lucky person.