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Hey everyone, my name is Maria Vargas! Being a senior makes me reflect on my previous years. Helping others, being optimistic, and contemplating nature are three things that define me.
My mother, Omaira Buitrago, is an inspiring philanthropist. She’s a benevolent woman that wants to love everyone despite their social class or education level. In 2000, she founded a non-profit organization called Fundacion Mujer y Hogar, which translates to Foundation Women and Shelter. The foundation provides shelter to men and women in need of medical treatments and surgeries. Patients stay at the foundation as long as they need. Funds are raised for medical treatments. Additionally, the foundation deals with the insurance companies and makes sure the patients have the necessary post operative medical treatment. Just recently, my mother founded another organization called, Neurotrauma Center. This institution is a neurorehabilitation facility. Most patients have brain injuries, spinal cord or other neurological injuries. Ever since a young age, I’ve been involved in my mother’s humanitarian events. She cannot stress enough the importance of helping others. I am grateful for being exposed to my mother’s teachings. I wish to strive to become as whole hearted and loving as her.
My love for helping others derived from my mother, however, my optimistic disposition was passed down from my father, Fernando Vargas. I consider my father to be the happiest person I’ve met in my life. For those who know me, they refuse to think that there is someone who radiates more happiness than me. Once they meet my father, their doubts will surely fade. He strongly believes the universe has a very strong power of its own. The power is so strong that if one gives out positive energy, the universe will return it. He has taught me to always maintain a positive outlook even in the most haunting situations. His happiness is very contagious. One of my goals in life is to transmit love and happiness to those who need it the most solely by my presence.
Along with maintaining a positive attitude, contemplating nature is the one thing that has brought me very close to feeling true joy. Albert Einstein was also a strong lover of nature and quoted, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” I’m sure that if one concentrates hard enough all the answers will be answered simply by analyzing nature. Just look at an old tree, it’s wisdom and perseverance is sure to strike you a life-long message. I feel a God-like presence in the exchanging of love between people, and especially in nature. Some people find peace in meditation, while I find peace in contemplating nature. Especially in trees. I share a strong love for trees just like my father. Ever since I was young, I would see him kissing and hugging our backyard trees. He explained countless times that trees are also living beings that require love just like humans. His message stuck with me. Nonetheless, the love for nature has expanded to more than just trees. Once I step out of my house, I take a good look at the surrounding space and vividly see how we all perfectly seem to be embedded with nature without realizing it.
Despite the little experience I have acquired with my young age, I might have already found the source of authentic happiness. I wish to become an Architect. By becoming one, I will help struggling communities around the world without proper plumbing and deteriorate houses. I want to not solely contribute to the community my work but my love and positive attitude. I want my art to not only be functional and pleasing to the eye, but to coexist with nature. I see so much beauty in nature and I want to accentuate its beauty within my works. As an Agent of Change, I wish to incorporate my three values in a memorable project. My project will be composed of working with the Lotus House in Mid-Town Miami and implementing sustainable projects. I have complete faith that I will accomplish my project with the help of my supporting Agents and my teacher, Leopoldo Llinas. I am Maria Vargas, and I’m an Agent of Change.