When I recall my personal journey, I realize that I was fearful. I was a small-town girl from Panama when I stepped off the plane in New York City. The values instilled in me by my parents, grand-parents and great-grand parents were the only compass I had. Spending my last two years of high school in a strange country and having few friends led me to depend solely on lessons from my early years to sustain me through a critical stage in my life. I relied on pure courage, resilience, respect, perseverance, preparation, integrity and continue to grow through fear.