I am a Sophomore Feminist Studies and International Studies major. My parents’ stories about their lives in the Philippines and their experiences as immigrants to America—told, expressed, and revealed over the dining table on hazy days when my family was filled with laughter and conversation—are the strongest influences on my literacy background. Beneath the simplicity of their story telling, I found these essential tenets of engaging writing: honesty and directness, strong character development, and the encapsulation of the human condition. Penning captivating and relatable stories, then—ones that I am personally invested in bringing to light—has become my central motivation in my writing endeavors.