“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

FATSO. PIG. BARREL.

I was called many names. My large size made me an even larger target for the bullies. They never missed a chance to take a swing.

I saw those names in the mirror, confirming what others claimed and what I, too, believed. I was beneath others. I was not worthy. I never bothered trying.

Until he, my middle school literature teacher, pulled me aside and urged, "I see potential in you. Be exceptional. You can."

For the first time, I saw myself as more than those names. I saw possibilities. When others pushed me down, he challenged me to climb up. Eventually, up I went.

I chose to be in business to pay forward what he gave me. Management, at its noblest and purest, inspires people to realize their full potential. Every soul, however trampled, can blossom when given the courage.

I will see beyond what meets the eye and discover people's true capabilities.

I will offer my hand so others reach higher than they ever imagined.

I will shine the mirror so people finally see themselves as the infinite possibilities within, not the names they are called.

— Qing Zhao