Personal Statement: Wendy Lee (Class of 2015)

A word to sum up my childhood: donuts. Why? Because I breathed them in. As a child, my parents brought me to the donut shop — their workplace– because there was no one to babysit me at home. I didn’t mind — I was in my bubble of innocence, as I occupied myself by building forts out of towels and my dad’s aprons in the corner of the shop to pretend that I wasn’t alone. But I was, expect for the oily aroma of donuts surrounding the air. The smell of “home.”

Because I worked with them. And I hated it. As I grew older, I was expected to help out at the donut shop. As I grew more experienced, my mother entrusted me with the responsibility of running the donut shop alone. I was promoted to ‘boss’, as she rested her eyes each afternoon and I, twelve years old, walked in the shoes of an adult. At twelve, I was not a daughter nor a kid, but a boss– a title many people would appreciate, but I, detested.

Because I lived with them. I never spent my summer days on Disney Channel. I never spent my childhood going on vacation, playing sports with my friends, or baking with my mother. I spent it learning how to pour the right amount of coffee, how to use the tongs to grab a donut, and how to say “Hi, how may I help you?” I spent my childhood interacting with customers, taking orders, and satisfying their needs. My childhood wasn’t traditional, and for that reason alone, I am grateful.

The donut shop is my world. It is a part of my life and has become a part of me. Because of my age, many customers looked at me skeptically, supposing I was incapable of customer service.They were wrong. I spent hours memorizing prices and training myself to give correct change. When customers made rude remarks, I didn’t let it affect me. I flashed them a smile instead. As a child, I was timid; however, hours spent at the donut shop allowed me to interact with customers of different ages and races. These social and people skills I acquired have helped me grow as a leader and will help me find success in my goals of becoming a nurse. Through the years of interacting with strangers, I feel brave enough to provide comfort, reliability, and trust to my future patients.

Being the donut queen was once a source of embarrassment, but it is now my greatest pride. Though my donut realm was far from regal, as the queen, I learned by responsibility social skills, leadership, and confidence — qualities that helped me succeed in high school, and the qualities that will aid me as I pursue a career in the medical field.