Submitted By Angie-Legui
Words: 766
Pages: 4

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia. I came to New York City at a very young age and have spent most of my life here. My mother, my brother and I left Colombia for economic reasons, and as a result I grew up in Queens, the most diverse of all boroughs in New York City. Queens is where I learned about a world that can only exist in New York, where my friends were from India, Mongolia, Albania, Jamaica and Ireland. In addition, because of my familiarity with the Spanish language, I mingled with kids from Ecuador, Mexico and Colombia. This culturally rich environment allowed to me grow up learning first hand the needs, troubles and aspirations of many people around the world. In a way, this has made the world my home, and these people my family. I have enjoyed the food of my neighbors who are from Mongolia, India and China. I have been to the movies with my Pakistani and Ecuadorian friends. Many of my close friends today are from remote regions of the world, such as Mongolia, Albania, Pakistan and Bulgaria; and even though, I may never get to visit their countries, I certainly know a lot about those parts of the world because my friends and their families have opened their homes and hearts, introducing me to a vibrant and rich world of opportunities and knowledge. That is not to say I have not traveled. I have visited Venezuela, Mexico and Jamaica, but the place I keep going back to is my native Colombia, where I feel at home and where most of my family still lives. As it happens in most countries in Latin America, Colombia struggles with health issues and poverty is a major concern for everyone. Lack of medical and dental facilities force many children in Colombia, as well as in other places in South America to go without proper dental hygiene. This has been a concern I have since I was little, and hope to be able to do something about it, even if it is helping a small group of children. The occupation of Dentistry is constantly evolving to tackle the current challenges that plague the current healthcare system and the system to come. I know that soon we will be able to provide more and more people with the proper care they need and I want to be ready to meet this challenge. Therefore, coming from Colombia, I have seen the challenges that many patients face to afford basic dental care. The situation in South America is critical to the point where, on average, a person may have exceptionally poor dental hygiene, which may result in both long-term oral and general health problems. This translates to unhappiness for both the children who suffer and their parents who can’t afford dental care. These hardships faced by people in both my native country, and the continent of South America, have