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

I still constantly look around and think, "I am so different from these people." Although I crossed no ocean to get here, it feels as though I crossed something even bigger - a social and economic divide. I have accessed an entirely new world, one that, quite honestly, I only realized existed when I entered it.

What am I going to do with my newfound access? I plan to never forget that I am lucky. When I look back, I am thankful for my family and friends' words of encouragement. Their confidence in me gave me the courage to step into this new world. I will never forget that not everyone is lucky enough to begin down such a path. I can only hope to change someone else's life in the way that mine was changed. Consequently, my master plan is to expose new options to all those around me. I will tell my children and my sibling's children that they can do anything they want to do and I will show them how.

Being lucky means that I must share the rewards. I plan to always give, to help others, and to remember where I came from.

— Monica Haugen