My name is Ethan Cook, and I am nineteen years old. I was born on October 30, 1997, and grew up in a small suburban town in Pennsylvania. I grew up with my Mom, Dad, and little sis. I also have a dog, and he is a mix between a golden retriever and Irish setter. He often drives me crazy, but I would not trade him for anything. I lived there all my life until I decided to extend my education by coming to American University to pursue a major in History and Political Science. After I achieve that, I intend to go on to become a lawyer. Often I get asked, “what kind of law do you want to go into?” To tell you the truth, I have no idea. I am taking this one step at a time and just trying to get through my first semester as a freshman. Now that I got all of the formalities out of the way, I guess I should tell you about what it was like for me growing up. Life was all peaches and cream for me until about middle school. I had a strong family unit, friends who I grew up with and had adamant bonds with, lots of extracurricular activities, a close connection with my faith, and a good performance in school. However, I am not going to lie the middle school years put me through hell. I had to deal with family issues, racial bullying, friends turning their back on me, and very low self-esteem. It took me awhile to figure out what kind of man I wanted to become, but I am proud of the person I decided to become. Even tough those years put me through some intense emotional and physical struggles; I would go through it all again in a heartbeat because that adversity made me the man I am today. The things I had to deal with taught me the value of real friendship, loyalty, honesty, empathy, and giving back to others. Once I learned these values, I wanted to become a man who could live up to those values, so I decided to begin reworking myself slowly, and I still strive every day to become a better person.