Yes this is me, Jessica Cheng.

Yesterday I tripped over a backpack on the ground while rushing to math class. I fell down FACING the ground, and it hurt so much. My glasses hit right onto my brows, and my elbows were absolutely painful. I felt dizzy, so I stayed down for a few seconds, stood up slowly, and then everything’s fine again except several bruises on my

That’s me. No matter how hard or how many times I fall, how much it hurts, or how long it takes me to recover, I am determined to stand up again.

I am Jessica Cheng from Taiwan. 2014 was a year of big changes for me because it was the year of my second birthday. Yes, exactly, I was reborn. I was reborn with a left ear. Before 2014, I was a microtia patient, occasionally seen as a monster by some immature teenage mean boys. Microtia is the underdevelopment and deformity of ear. In 2014, I underwent several reconstructive surgeries and found confidence, optimism, and a clear future path. I felt like my life was lit up by a candle, and that feeling convinced me to become a lighter to the candle of other people’s lives — to become a pediatric plastic surgeon.

I believe that there is nothing more important than confidence and self-worth. Especially for children or young adults like me, it is only when we recognize our own value can we move forward to chase our dreams. Nobody should be judged by appearance or be seen as a “monster” just because they are born differently. Therefore, I believe, to build up confidence and heal their emotional wounds, fair destribution of medical resources for reconstructive surgeries is crucial.

In my school, I am leading Smile Train Club to raise money for children in need of reconstructive surgeries. We are planning to shift gear to put more focus on the actual medical assistance rather than the fundraising aspect. Hopefully we could expand Smile Train Club to an international level and contribute to the world in a more direct way. Seeing the smiles on the children’s face, I felt proud for being able to change their lives, just like how my life was changed and how I stood up again after I tripped. I hope my passion in the issue of unequal medical resources, along with my academic achievements in math and science, would allow me to move even further towards my dream of becoming a surgeon.