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Hi! I'm Roberto Tobias and I'm currently a rising senior at Frank McCourt High School in New York City. With the start of Senior year rapidly approaching, the same goes for the intimidating season of college applications.
Ever since elementary school, I've always seen my education as an important aspect of my life. I always strived to do my best, hell, even past the expectations that I thought was set for myself. From elementary school to middle school and especially high school, I always aspired to pursue my goals and dreams. With my drive and desire to succeed, I was able to achieve many amazing feats throughout my academic career. As of the end of my Junior year, I was able to finish the year with an overall GPA of 93, I received an opportunity to work as an assistant at Mt. Sinai Queens, I have helped organize many events under Student Government, and I actively volunteer at events for my school to support my hardworking teachers. Just as millions of people around the world have experienced the harsh realities of COVID-19, I had as well. Throughout the entirety of March of this year, my entire family, including myself, ended up catching COVID. My father, Roberto Tobias Sr., was the first to realize the severity of the virus. Originally, he was the one to warn my sister and I to be careful whenever we went outside. He took the virus seriously from the start, especially due to his ailments. He was 72 years old who was diabetic and was a former heavy smoker. The same went with my mother, Loida Tobias, as well. She was 61, diabetic, dealt with hypertension, and was as susceptible to the virus as my father. Over the span of a few weeks, my father's health began deteriorating and my mother used her vacation days to take care of my father. She's a nurse and naturally, she wanted to help our father and ensure that he would hopefully recover from this. However, with that, she inevitably caught the virus as well. This eventually would lead to the virus spreading to the rest of my family and we would be in poor shape for weeks. Unfortunately, my parents took the brunt of the virus and they eventually were hospitalized due to their conditions worsening. Although the chances were slim, my sister and I had hope that they would recover and eventually be discharged, but they, unfortunately, ended up passing. My father would pass away due to complications on May 30th, and my mother would pass away on June 30th. My parents were amazing and lived exceptional lives. They grew up in their own impoverished homes back in the Philippines, but they always pursued higher education to be able to take care of their brothers, sisters, and their parents. Despite the conditions they were born and forced into, they managed to persevere and would receive their degrees at Far Eastern University in Manila. My mother received a degree to pursue a career in nursing, and my father would get a teacher's degree to study and teach physics. Eventually, my parents would meet and, as it goes, fell in love. My dad would then immigrate to the U.S. in 1990 to start a family with my mom and find new opportunities for themselves. My dad would eventually land a job as a bartender at the Windows of the World in the World Trade Center and my mom would also become a head nurse at Harlem Hospital Center. They would then have my sister in 1991 and have me in 2003. My realization of my dreams came from inspiration from my parents, learning my true passions, and the discovery of what I wanted to pursue in my life. When I enter college, I want to study premed and go on to medical school to pursue a career as a neurosurgeon. However, with the passing of my parents, the security of my future is unclear because I don't have a source of income to help fund my education. Hopefully, with this fundraiser, I'll be able to help fund my first year of college while I work towards funding my own career. Any amount would definitely be appreciated and I genuinely thank you for reading this. Roberto Tobias Jr
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