Kimberly Chang

by Kaitlin from Pickerington

The fates are winds that blow through our lives from every angle, urging us along the paths of time. Those who are strong-willed may fight the storm and possibly choose their own road.
Chinese workers in a clothing factory. (
Chinese workers in a clothing factory. (

A hero is someone who is selfless. They will put everyone above themselves to make others happy. They stop at nothing to help others, and don't care if they get hurt in the process.

Everyone should have a hero. A hero is your ideal person, so you look up to them. You try to model your life to be like them. A hero brings out the best in yourself. You want to be like that person, so you push yourself to emulate them. This can be a good thing if your hero is a good role model. Therefore it is important not to pick one that will lead you down a treacherous path in the end.

Kimberly Chang portrays characteristics of a hero in this novel. She naturally takes it upon herself to get her family out of poverty. Kimberly said, "I had to go back to school on Monday. Pa was dead and no one else could save Ma from this life" (Kwok, 48). She also saved a mentally disabled boy from abuse on the street. "Stop it! I reached up and pulled the cloth off his head. Least he's not so ugly that he's made of essence of monkey" (Kwok, 217). Kimberly protected and defended him. Kimberly stood up to her aunt and freed herself and mother from her wrath. "Fake kindness, fake etiquette is all you've shown us" (Kwok, 255). Kimberly is a daring, intelligent young women. She's not afraid to speak her mind and suffer the consequences. She is happy to help anyone in need.

Kimberly Chang should definitely be inducted into the Hero Hall of Fame. She worked hard during her whole academic career to get into a superior college. She achieved a job in the pediatric cardiac surgery department to get her family out of a difficult situation. Kimberly raised her only child as a single mother to stop the child's father from being hurt. She didn't want him to be forced to live a life where he would be miserable. She gave up her own happiness for everyone around her.

I interviewed Kimberly to ask her about her life and views on heroism. Q. Who is you're hero Kimberly? A. Well, I always aspired to be like George Washington Carver. I love, and have always loved the sciences. Carver is one of my all time favorites. He conducted many experiments on peanuts that helped mankind. He had to overcome his struggles of racism to even get an education, just like me. He never gave up and ended up being one of the most famous scientists in history. I wish I could have a legend just like his. Q. How has living in poverty affected your life? A. Poverty used to make me so depressed. I wasn't the only one who worried about it in my family, but I knew I was the only one who could do anything about it. I had to give up my social life to study into the night so I could get into a good college. I never had the right clothes and was teased in school. All in all, living in poverty has taught me many lessons on not being superficial. It pushed me to be the person I am today. Q. Do you think you're a hero to someone? A. I think my mom definitely thinks of me as someone to look up to. This is sort of odd since she's my mother, but I believe it's true. I helped her and myself when we were both in a hard situation. She has told me she is very thankful. If it was not for myself, we would be starving in an apartment. Q. Besides getting your family out of an awkward situation, what other acts of heroism have you performed. A. When I was in my senior year of high school, I got pregnant by my boyfriend Matt. I knew I couldn't tell him, and decided to get an abortion. However, I ended up keeping my beautiful boy and have raised him as a single mother. My mother tells me that act was the the most heroic thing she's ever seen. Q. Do you have any regrets in life? No, I don't. People who are close to me ask me why I don't regret giving up Matt. I admit I wish he was still in my life, but I knew years ago that it could never happen. I didn't want to force him to do anything he wouldn't have chosen on his own. So I have no regrets. Not even getting pregnant, because I love my son. Q. How can someone become a hero? A. When you do something that is hard for you to act upon, you become a hero. If you let yourself go, and not worry about the consequences you can do or achieve anything. You can be a hero to yourself or someone else. However, you must overcome your fears and not worry about what other people think of you. Q. What has been one of the hardest parts of your life? A. I remember when I would have to work in the factory with my mother long into the night. We would sometimes have to bring home our extra work to our apartment just to finish the load. It was freezing and we found it very hard to work. Sometimes neither of us would sleep. It was always difficult, and we were always exhausted. Q. Who is your best friend? A. Without a doubt, Annette Avery. Even when we were in sixth grade, and I was still struggling with my English, she looked out for me. She made school easier for me, and is the soul reason I actually went at first. Annette has helped me so much throughout my life, through school, poverty, and the baby. I can trust her with whatever. Q. What is the most daring thing you've ever done? A. When I was younger, and just started going to American schooling, I hated it so much. My teacher was horribly rude to me and singled me out. I was lost in the schoolwork and didn't accomplish anything. I used to skip for weeks at a time. In the end, I felt guilty and started attending every day. Q. How would life change without any form of heroism? A. I think the crime rate would increase considerably. With no police or brave citizens to put a stop to it, it would run wild. It would affect my life completely. My son would constantly be in danger, and I would have to quit my job to look after him.

Page created on 4/17/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/17/2011 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

George Washington Carver Biography - This bibliography is about one of the most well known scientists in America. Just like Kimberly, he had to overcome hardship to succeed in life. He gave up so much to follow his dream and become the man he was.

Extra Info

This is a fantastic book that I recommend everyone to read. Kimberly is truly inspiring and a pleasure to read about. She represents courage and a sense of pride. She should be a role model to all young women and adults.

Author Info

Kimberly Chang is the main character in the novel "Girl In Translation." The book takes place in present day New York. Kimberly and her mother are thrown into the desperate life of poverty from their comfortable life in Hong Kong. Forced to work at an "under the table" factory to support themselves, Kimberly and her mother barely have enough money to keep their clothes on their backs. In this world Kimberly finds love, knowledge, and her destiny.