Friday, September 7, 2012

My Incredible Dream

Hi. My name is Steven Styffe. You don't know me, and so I understand if you decide to click away from the writing and find something better to do online with your time. No hard feelings. But I would love it if you would stick around and read my story and hopefully you'll find some inspiration in what I call my 'incredible dream.'

I am 16 years old. I was born and raised in, originally, a family of 6 in Orange County, in Southern California. In 2008, my family expanded. My parents successfully adopted 3 children from Rwanda, Africa. The ages 13, 12, and 9. This now puts me in the middle of the age spectrum. My oldest sibling is 24 now. So with me being in the middle of the family, I started becoming worried about being lost, or invisible, in a large family.  The challenge for me was to, in a positive manner, make myself stand out. Display some skills and passions of mine that would allow me to differentiate myself.

I am a technology enthusiast. My passion is in digital technology. I grew up, learning to use the computer as early as 3 years old. That early-on interest in technology has what led me to continue down the path of a career in technology. At 15, I started my own, now discontinued, technology podcast that allowed me to express myself. I was so thankful that the Internet brought me my opportunity to do that. And while that idea didn't catch on, I'm still thankful for the lessons I've learned from that. I'm also extremely appreciative of the Internet, since it gave me a positive identity that I could control, and it's allowing me to write to you today about my very passionate dream.

Living in Orange County is a difficult challenge for me. The problem with living in such a small area is that the technology education isn't well developed here. My technical education has been mostly established thanks to my next door neighbor, his garage, and the Internet, which has made technical education much more easily accessible. But I wish to expand beyond what a free, online education can bring me. At my local high school, which I attend, there are no technically oriented class offerings. There isn't any computer science course, or robotics or AI course, or anything remotely like that. They don't even offer an electrical engineering course. It's very easy for me to get discouraged by these challenging odds. But I haven't lost hope.

Part of me instantly wants to say that it feels kind of wrong, or at the very least, cliché for me to try to promote my 'incredible dream.' But I had to beat that part of me and try to make a name for try to reach my dream. So that is what I'm doing. I'm desperately hoping that there would be a chance for me to get a great high school quality education in electrical engineering and computer science. I've always loved the inspiration that technology has given me, and I would  hope to be further inspired by a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a great education in those areas (electrical engineering and computer science).

When all is said and done, and if I discover that this doesn’t catch on, at least I will have learned to make an effort. I’ve learned from many failures in my life. I can speak from experience. Failure hasn’t been the fear for me. I’ve always been willing to take a risk so that I could achieve my dreams. I’m taking that risk now. And all I’m hoping is that you’re listening. 

If you think you can’t make a difference for me, you’d be very wrong. You can make a huge, significant difference just by sharing this. It would mean the world to me if you would share this message with someone you think could help. Just share it! Period. That by itself would make the world of difference for me.

I'm trying to reach what I thought would be impossible. The question is, can you help me achieve the impossible?

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