For as long as I remember, I have been a student of soccer. I started playing in our local youth program when I was four, spending two years in the in-house recreational program before moving to a competitive Under-10 travel team when I was six. Through my experiences with soccer, I have discovered I demand a high standard of myself in all aspects of my life. Whether it is physically or mentally, personal goals or my relationships with others, I strive for excellence and use my setbacks as opportunities to evaluate and re-approach the situation.
Academically, I aim to maintain high honor roll with distinction through graduation of high school and achieve my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Psychology, with the goal of running my own business, possibly in personal coaching and wellness.
Although I was an average length and weight at birth, beginning at age five I went through a period of several years that doctors labeled as “underperforming” growth. According to standardized charts, my stature was behind the smallest 3 percent of my peers, and I grew only a few inches in the next five years. This was challenging personally, as classmates and others took note of the obvious growth delay and used it to make insensitive personal attacks on me. Ultimately, through a series of medical tests, it was discovered the underlying cause is a congenital brain defect that impairs my body’s natural ability to produce growth hormone. Doctors suggested to my parents that I begin growth hormone replacement therapy to catch up with other kids my age, however the side effects of the therapy would have limited my ability to play soccer competitively, which was not a compromise I was willing to make. Left to make the decision for myself, I chose to embrace my natural size and show that my spirit and determination would continue to make me valuable teammate and formidable opponent.
I look forward to continuing my education and my soccer career post-high school and further developing myself.