Life has a funny way of keeping you humble. For me, I can attribute many things as to why I always try to stay humble and kind. However, for me it has come down to a few things. 1) Being obese, 2) Coming from a multicultural background, & 3) Identifying as a homosexual. These are the three things that have brought my life much pain and sorrow, feelings of guilt, embarrassment, and permitted others to make me feel less than. Throughout the last four years of college, I have been able to break borders and boundaries, explore new places, meet new people, take on new roles (educationally, voluntarily, and professionally), get more involved, but most importantly, I’ve found myself. I have hope because of my family, friends, & most importantly because I chose to STOP living in fear and letting others dictate how I should feel about myself, and STARTED doing things that made me happy, explored new avenues to a brighter future for my family and me. Those three things that I listed above do NOT define the entirety of who I am as a person, they are simply parts of who I am and they shouldn’t make you feel any different about me. Sadly, if it does, then it is you who is losing out, not me. Lastly, I’d like to speak about my weight. Anyone who knows me knows that this has been one hell of a journey. When I graduated from #DMACC in 2015, I weighed 487lbs. In the spring of 2016 when I went abroad for the #IowaStateUniversity #Cáceres, #España program, I lost 71lbs. However, when I came back the following semester, I got back in to my 40 work routine and full-time student routine, & I had put my health on the back burner. As a result, I gained all 71lbs back (in ONE semester). After coming back from the #ISUBerlin program, I decided that I needed to take charge of my health. So, on August 21, 2017, I missed the first entire week of school so that I could do just that. I had the Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass. This surgery has really presented its challenges, physically, emotionally, and mentally. However with the strength and support of my family and closest friends, I can say that as of 12 DEC 2017, I have lost 121lbs and we are NOT stopping anytime soon! Thank you for reading!