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Great Story: Nelson’s Journey

by Gabbie Webbeking

“When I was four, I remember my parents coming home from work with their dirty clothes. The smell of candle wax from my mother’s hands became very strong when she hugged me. My mother worked at a candle factory while my father was a custodian. Growing up in a poor immigrant family, I was raised to be tough. I had to be brave at school where I first learned English. Over the years, I struggled to manage my own emotions and anxiety because my parents never modeled it for me…”

“When the coronavirus hit the U.S., it made me feel like the world was about to shut down. The thought of my loved ones gasping for air made me breakdown into tears. And worst of all, hearing the news that my mother was forced to lay off was overbearing. Even though this pandemic made (me) pray for survival and hope, I realized if I were to give up, I would hurt the people who cared about me.”

“During difficult times of my life, I learned to focus more on the things I can do to make me feel positive…

taking a run at the park…

being grateful for what I had…

talking to my friends through zoom…

Whether it be a global pandemic or the first day of school, I can now successfully navigate strategies to manage my anxiety–I won’t let those moments snuff me out.”

With the help of College Possible, Nelson has applied to:

  • UW Seattle
  • UW Bothell
  • Seattle University
  • Seattle Central College

He hopes to one day become a counselor so he can help young teens in the Asian-American community.


This story was written and drafted by Gabbie Webbeking, an AmeriCorps high school senior coach at College Possible Washington.


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