My name is Carhil Medina. I was born in a country outside the United States where the largest waterfall in the world can be found: Venezuela. I celebrated my first, second, third and fourth birthday in this beautiful place. I even attended school for one year. And, just as fast as I was learning the Spanish language and familiarizing myself with my family, my parents flew my two brothers and me into the United States. At that time, this new place was a far away land that separated me from the people and family I was beginning to understand and grow accustomed to. My brothers and I were immediately enrolled in a school where people spoke a language that we did not understand. Consequently, I grew quiet and became shy. If I wanted to understand something or if I needed help I couldn't ask the teacher. Everything had changed too fast, and I found myself lost. I started doing things on my own and depended on myself to comprehend the things around me.
Fortunately, shortly after my enrollment in school, I was assigned a teacher's aide who comforted me in my own language and helped me understand what was going on. She became my great admirer and the person whom I am to thank for the passion that I have for words today. This aide, whose name I cannot remember, introduced me to the magnificent world of books and storytelling. It wasn't long until I picked up the English language and began immersing myself in books. I became obsessed with them, reading at least one book per week.
By the time I reached middle school, I aspired to write my own stories and my own books. The pen became my mind and the paper became my indefinite canvas. Unfortunately, I had one minor problem; I couldn’t bring myself to write about the same subject, or the same story, for too long. Thus, I began to shorten what I wrote and grew affection for poetry.
When I reached High school, I took a creative writing class that expanded my boundaries and that introduced me to short stories and sentence structure. I remember a specific assignment that changed my view of writing: the one sentence story. This assignment showed me the power that words had. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized that thoughts and ideas could be presented with precision and clarity by using one word or one sentence. I learned that words have the power to create moods, to add tone and even to influence others. That instance opened my eyes to what I wanted to study, and it was then that I geared my direction towards journalism.
With that new discovery came new possibilities. I became interested in the media and in the influence that they have on society. I knew right then that I wanted to be a part of that influence. I wanted to be a part of the watchdog for society.
As of today, I am a senior at Florida International University and I am majoring in Mass Communication and Journalism. With each step forward I take and with the help of those around me—from my elementary teacher’s aide to well taught classes—I know that I am so much closer to my dreams.