I am most proud of my ability to remain clear minded amidst emotional turmoil and to understand another person’s perspective. After my father moved out of the country when I was 4 due to a tumultuous relationship with my mother, countless breakdowns from the insecurity that I felt in his absence forced me to adapt to change. With guidance from my older sister and mother, I learned to overcome my anger and understand my father’s decisions. I am proud to perceive my father’s absence not as a shortcoming, but as a learning opportunity which helped me develop the ability to examine conflicts objectively.The attributes that I have developed to overcome this adversity are what I believe my friends and family value most in me. When faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, my emotional strength aids them in maintaining the firmness of mind they need to confront their obstacles. They would describe me as someone who is willing to take the extra time and responsibility to ensure that others are well cared for, and whose sincerity is reflected in the amount of effort I devote to others. Over this past year, I have helped a friend who was experiencing depression and facing similar conflicts at home as I have. I called them daily to simply listen to their concerns in hopes of helping them feel supported. I was relieved to hear that my actions gave them strength to make steps towards overcoming their hardships. Oftentimes, when my motivation is dampened by mental fatigue, it is my grit that pushes me to move forwards again. I have learned that grit involves a relentless work ethic combined with the bravery to have unconditional faith in yourself are qualities needed to overcome hurdles. These qualities are important to me as they have given me the fortitude to persevere and maintain confident in myself regardless of the outcomes.I entered the IB Program without knowing that emotional stress and demand for mental vigor would be my greatest adversaries. After countless hours of intensive studying, some results in Year 1 fell much shorter than what I had expected from myself.In a state of mental exhaustion, I reached out for support from my older sister who had endured similar struggles and gained insight on reevaluating this obstacle as an opportunity to grow from the process of striving towards self-improvement rather than using the results as a measure of my worth. Grit is important to me as it helped me overcome my fear of failure and allowed me to approach obstacles with a more productive attitude. Grit gives me the strength to recover after each defeat, protects me from emotional drawbacks and helps me concentrate on working towards my next goal. Not only have these skills and attitude helped me successfully tackle a rigorous 2 year program, they will be invaluable in helping me persevere through long-term challenges that I will undoubtedly face as I pursue future academic and professional goals. As the Founder and President of iCare, I lead a team of students who are passionate about providing basic eye care to developing countries and raising awareness for this global issue. I plan and mediate discussions, while implementing projects in which I work with team members towards our club’s mission. Through 11 years of learning the piano, I honed technical skills and refined styles spanning from Classical to Contemporary genres. Having obtained my level 10 certificate, I tutor students and help them prepare for their examinations by providing specifically tailored guidance and insight from my own learning experiences. I worked with the staff as a Junior Instructor at Geering Up UBC to facilitate engaging STEM activities for young learners, encouraging and fueling their passion for science. I designed and delivered lessons on topics adapted to the learners’ needs while resolving any conflicts to create a safe learning environment. I am the First Place Winner of the National ACPI Immersion Clip 2016 Contest. I carried out each aspect of film production to create a video expressing my views on the growing discrepancy between our real and virtual identities. I drafted numerous scripts, directed, acted in and edited the production. I rigorously trained 7 hours per week with both school and Misfit Club Ultimate Teams to develop individual skills and strengthen team dynamics before placing 8th at the 2016 Junior Canadian Ultimate Championships. I worked with teammates and coaches to ensure one’s weaknesses would be covered by another’s strengths. As Vice President of my school’s UNICEF club, I developed extensive understanding of the challenges that the developing world faces today. Taken aback by how most of my peers were unaware of the need for basic eye care in developing countries, I founded a club with the vision of helping organizations provide this necessity globally and to raise awareness on the significance of visual impairment. I recruited members that shared the same passion and interests as me and this was critical as I learned how to build a team of individuals with unique skill sets that could each make valuable contributions to maximize our club’s productivity. I partnered with leader organizations in the community to strive towards our goal such as by collaborating on a city-wide glasses drive with TWECS. I am responsible for planning and implementing activities such as our fundraiser with Krispy Kreme products, throughout which I learned that one of a leader’s key role involves maintaining the team’s motivation and willingness to take initiative. I discovered that the club members were much more proactive when I set a number of boxes as a goal for each to achieve individually and subsequently followed up with each of them to offer aid if necessary. As a result of consistent progress and corresponding increasing team morale, we exceeded our initial target of funds. To raise awareness on the prevalence of visual impairment worldwide, I organized booths at school events to inspire action from our peers. In my interactions with students and staff, I have strengthened my communication and teaching skills particularly in helping individuals relate to those who lack the resources to address reduced vision.My work with iCare has taught me that a leader’s responsibility is to provide guidance and a clear direction that guides the team towards fulfilling a shared vision. Leadership also entails taking the additional time and effort to ensure continuous progress. Lastly, I have learned the significance of taking initiative through the differences my club has made for visual impairment across the globe. I will never forget the looks of wonder from young students during my time at GeeringUp. I think of my own experiences with science and realize this passion and enthusiasm never fades. Designing my own individual investigations in science for IB assessments has taught me that science is a tool I can endlessly refine in my endeavour to understand the mechanisms of our world. I wish to expand these analytical skills and techniques, and have no doubt that UBC and its world-renowned research facilities will help me cultivate the skills I need to leave my own mark in the community.