One of the biggest things I have been determined to do in my life is to spread love and help other people, anyway that I can. My name is Hector Ramos Diaz, and I grew up in San Francisco, California. One of the defining moments in my life which helped spark the fire inside of me to help and serve others, was when I was diagnosed with depression and ADHD in my teenage years. In those days, I experienced what it was like to suffer alone, not be motivated to leave my bed and have no ambition to even go to class. The personal struggles and experiences that I have had with mental health have really taught me the invaluable lesson of how to empathize and support others who are experiencing similar challenges. Knowing what I went through really makes me look in the mirror and want to be someone who can help others who are hurting. When I was diagnosed, it was a wake-up call for me that made me want to prioritize my health and learn how to take better take care of myself. It also gave me a deep desire to connect with people at a very root level, to hear them and help them whenever I can. One of the most important things I learned through my own personal health experience is that I want to make everyone feel special and important. I know that people who are hurting, on some level, want to be heard and seen for who they are and not for the circumstances that they may be experiencing.
Through my struggles, I have learned how to really listen to others and to find and share the value in their stories with an open mind and open heart. I have had my own hard times, but because of these experiences, I have learned several things that I know I can use to comfort and help others as I transition from my Senior year in college at the University of Portland to my professional career of choice. I am determined to focus on mental health and wellness because I am committed to making this world better. I have learned to be brave and courageous, and I have learned how to ask for help when I need it. I have learned how to be proud of myself. I am proud to be a leader and a unique individual who stands up for what I believe is right. I hope others can learn from my experiences and stories and become unique individuals who are proud to be who they are too. My life experience up until today has taught me how to lead by example and this will allow me to be a better ally for anyone who comes to me for support. I enjoy teaching others that it is okay to be yourself, a unique individual.
While my mental health has taught me a lot about myself, it has not been the only thing that has helped me want to love and help others. When I found the courage to leave my home in San Francisco and go to school in Portland, l learned how to be brave and face the unknown with excitement instead of fear. This was so valuable because it helped me find space to be myself. It was the first step in becoming more independent and learning how to love myself for who I am. I learned that change is hard, but it is meant to feel uncomfortable so that we can push through and discover who we really are, in spite of and despite all the stories we tell ourselves. It took courage to leave my hometown and what I discovered about myself is that I love being proactive and finding solutions to everyday problems. And I love challenges and enjoy learning new things. I found I can be myself and help others who are hurting and trying to find themselves. I also realized that it is okay to ask for help when you need it.
I love to listen to people share their stories and every time I meet someone new; I learn something about myself. I learned that I am willing to fight for what is not right. I know that my future is about standing up for others and helping them find a degree of comfort, support and happiness in their own lives. We all have problems we deal with daily. It breaks my heart to see so many people be treated harshly and discriminated against and I wish I could find a way to get rid of that negativity. The GlobalMindED Mentorship Program has given me the opportunity to grow as a person and become a better leader. My involvement with GlobalMindED has given me the imagination to define my passion and the skills necessary to excel in my future career path. And lastly, it has helped me connect with other like-minded inclusive leaders on a personal level so that I can learn from them and improve the world we are living in.
In every action, I want to do my best to make this world a better place for everyone. So today, I lead by example. I love to help the homeless around my community by giving them food and clothes and just being there to listen to them when they want to talk and share their stories. While I can’t fix the world overnight, I have learned the value of small meaningful action. Small meaningful action means doing the small things in a meaningful way. It is as simple listening, witnessing, looking for inclusive societies, and choosing to engage and connect with others who are as passionate as I am about healing the world through service. I have pushed myself to continue to learn and embrace challenges because I realize that I had to leave my hometown and get out of my comfort zone in order to grow.
That leads me to my last defining moment and a true sentiment of gratitude. I would not be the person I am today if it were not for my mom. From the very beginning, she taught me to be nice to others. It is that simple. The most crucial thing I learned that really makes me who I am is kindness, and the choice that we all must be kind to others. She taught me to be kind to others regardless of who they are, what they look like and where they come from. All it takes is an open heart, open mind and a call to help others, and everything is possible. Everyone has feelings, and our feelings are valid, and everyone deserves the opportunity to be heard. Being kind has led me to want to devote my time and energy to nonprofit organizations that specialize in helping and supporting others in need. This kindness, this desire to help and to serve, has not only helped me define who I am but it has also kept me determined to be who I am in today’s often abrasive world. I am a committed and passionate unique individual who is excited for the new frontiers that will allow me to make this world a better place, one person at a time, one embrace at a time. This work, the mental wellness space is important, it is everything because we can change the world and make it a little bit better just by making some people smile and remember what it means to feel happy. That is my why. I want to help the others who find it hard to help themselves and I am excited to find my place in the mental health space to do just that, one person at a time, even if it is just a simple embrace. My passion for math meets my heart driven goals and that is how I will improve the world.