Amber Simmons

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    My Personal Story

    I was born in Oakland California at Summit Hospital to Dolton and Maria Simmons. I have an old brother Maurice and an old sister Amanda we are a very close family to this day.  I grew up in the Richmond Marina where I spent the majority of my childhood. I was very active and always wanted to run because my sister Amanda did.  She was pretty good at it. So I asked my dad could I run and he said no because you are too little. So instead of starting at the age of three I started running at the age of four. While living in the Marina I attended Fairmont Elementary School and was a member of 3M track club.

    My family moved to Vallejo California when I was ten because they purchased a home. But while living in Vallejo my family decided to keep me in Fairmont Elementary School.  During this time I began to grow as a student and athlete. My parents always said school comes first even before track. So from a young age I was taught how to manage my time. During my elementary years I competed in numerous National Junior Olympia’s a cross the country, while maintaining an A average. My most memorable was when I ran in Buffalo New York where I placed fifth in the 4×100 relay and visit Niagara Falls.

    Upon entering high school my parents decided to enroll me at Vallejo High. During my time at Vallejo High I grew even more as a student and athlete. My high school career was full of academic success in the class room as well as on the track. As a student at Vallejo High I was honored to win the following academic awards: a six time Vallejo High School Academic Letter Award (for maintaining a GPA of 3.50 or higher for any two consecutive semesters), Honors at Graduation, Academic Letter at Graduation, President Education Awards Program for Outstanding Academic Excellence, African- American Affirmation Award, and Latino Achievement Awards. I also graduated in the top four percent of my class.

    As far as track was concerned I was excelling at that as well. During my high school time I was under the watchful eye of Curtis Taylor of the East Oakland Youth Development Center. This is the club I ran for remaining years at high school. My highlight was running my fastest 60 meter time of 7.93. I also won numerous league titles, division II titles and Master’s title. My high school career ended with a trip to the California State Track Meet.

    I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, until my grandmother became really sick in my junior year of high school and passed away.  I would go visit her in the hospital and see her in pain and felt helpless because I couldn’t do anything about it. I knew then that I wanted to do something in the medical field because I wanted to help people like my grandmother who were really sick. I started to take more science classes over the summer at Contra Costa College.  Then I did research as to what college would be the best fit for me and fell in love with UC Davis.  I looked into their admissions process and their criteria. During my junior and senior years in high school I strived to reach these criteria and was accepted on my academics. I am currently an Undeclared-Life Sciences Major at the University of California Davis.

    Both my high school and track experience have made me into the person that I am today. In high school I was a peer-counselor and the co-captain of my track team.  I am the person that all my friends know they can come to if they need help. I have made long lasting friendships. What I learned from these experiences will be with me through my college experience and my life because the lessons on character and excellence opened doors for me as they will in my future.

    Amber Simmons

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