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My name is Kaori Torres, I am seventeen years old and I attend Palmer Trinity School. Being the eldest in my family has taught me to be responsible and independent. I would say that my family is anything less than ordinary with my mother Japanese and my father Colombian, all while living in Miami,. This summer, I traveled to Japan, India, and North Carolina. I believe that these traveling experiences have helped me develop a wide sense of my surroundings and have shaped who I am.
Living in Miami, a multiracial and bilingual city, I’ve been exposed to different cultures and ethnicities. I would consider myself open-minded and respectful to others around me. I am carefree when it comes to insignificant things in life but very dedicated with things that I am passionate about, such as art, the environment, and food. Minor things, like losing my phone, which most people would be very stressed about, don’t worry me. Even though I can be very carefree, I am also very hard working and curious. I enjoy working in a team where everyone is equally hardworking and passionate about the project. I believe that people who are curious will gain the most success out of their lives.
When I was little I would feel that my parents favored my brother over me because they would have high expectations for me and for my brother it felt like they congratulated him on everything he did. As years went by, I started to become more understanding, I became very proud of my brother, he overcame his challenges by being able to talk, to learn how to read and to write, when others had told us that my brother was never going to be able to do “normal things”. I also began to volunteer at Special Olympics and Unified Sports which involved doing activities with kids with special needs. Every time I attended one of those events I would get this feeling of excitement and happiness because I would see all the kids with a huge smile; they didn’t care if they won or not, they were just happy of being able to participate and be included in the competitions.
One of my curiosities, is what we can do to preserve nature. Last year, in my English class, I wrote a research paper on plastic bags. I found that even though it is labeled as biodegradable, plastic will never biodegrade. The plastic can only compress into micro-plastic particles. I find this very scary because it’s nearly impossible to avoid using plastic. I try to remind my parents to use our reusable bags. As an Agent of Change, I hope that I will be able to help solve some environmental issues like this.
In Ladakh, a state in India, I visited a small solar heated campus called Secmol.They had only one battery that has been used for thirteen years. I found this very intriguing because they work to preserve nature, which is something I aspire to do. In the school, they enroll around 40 students each year. The faculty is extremely scarce, with only few teachers. What really interested me about Secmol was that the campus site used to be a vacant desert. All the students wake up early in the morning to do their daily “responsibilities”. They have animals, plants and gardens. This school is a student run school. I was able to encounter an American couple and a Japanese women while upon my visit. They told me they were planning on founding a school like Secmol in their own homelands.
When traveling to different places, like India, I pack very lightly. I am a simple person who brings only the necessities with me on my travels. I believe that we don’t need the material things to get along in life. When I travel, I like to leave things behind and try to look at things with a new, different perspectives. After my time as an Agent of Change I would like to have the chance to make the world a little bit better.