I wrote my grad school personal statement about my heritage and where my parents are from—the Philippines. I described the time I had visited when I was 19, and how shocked I was seeing the poverty, trash, but realized that I was seeing the country my parents grew up in. This has encouraged me to see the world and learn about myself.
I’m learning tagalog and have visited the Philippines one other time since then. I keep in touch with my relatives and hope to do international planning once I finish grad school.