I will never forget the day I met my host father, Mark, in the arrivals terminal at Bishop International airport. Mark offered his hand and greeted me by saying, “Merhaba,” which means hello in Turkish. I was both surprised and happy at the sincerity of his greeting and instantly felt very close to Mark. My first impression proved true, and throughout the year I had a very strong relationship with my host family.
I was born in Cambodia and contracted Polio at nine months old. Even at a young age I dreamt of becoming a leader for people with disabilities, traveling to different countries, and living independently.