“What does MASA mean to you?”

2010 May 28 § 1 Comment

… abbreviated from MASA’s Grad Banquet Program 2010.

Every year, someone asks the inevitable question: “What does MASA mean to you?”

Every year, I find myself grasping for words to express what cannot be encompassed by mere letters or a pretty speech; this year is no different.

How else to begin, but to say that MASA is family, friends, and home. MASA is a place where you can be yourself and discover your potential, and learn what is not taught in UCSD’s classrooms and textbooks. MASA is people who accept you without conditions, who will help you when you are in need, who will support you when you cannot walk with your strength alone.

MASA is something different for everyone. It is a place, a group of people, and something else besides; what that something else besides is, is really dependent on who you’re talking to.

But I digress.

MASA is all these things – but it, too, is a creator of strength. Through tears, laughter, and uncertainty, I have been able to choose and choose again at every crossroads, making decisions and knowing in my heart that I’m making the right choice – and that even if I am not, I will survive. MASA has taught me that I don’t need to doubt myself. I have learned to trust in myself – something more fundamental than self-esteem or self-confidence.

I cannot quantify the value of all the other things MASA has been in my life, but that may be the most precious gift that MASA has given me.

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