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Hello! My name is Ila (pronounced ee-la). I have had a love for writing from a young age. I also have my own blog to share my thoughts & voice my opinions!

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Hello! My name is Ila (pronounced ee-la). I have had a love for writing from a young age. Writing is something that allows to me step out of my comfort zone and explore situations I never would have dreamt of encountering. My pieces have a lot of meaning to me. I also have my own blog to share my thoughts on the world!

A Changing Moment

December 4, 2019


The first time I realized that I was poor was when I was in second grade. I had just arrived home from school, and I was especially excited that day. My mother took notice, and she asked about it. I told her that the annual second grade field trip is coming up, and I wanted to go. I handed her the permission slip, which also had the cost of field trip ($50). When my mother read the permission slip, her eyes widened, and her face reddened. I became confused.

“You have never been interested in these field trips before, Xiomara. What makes you so interested in them now?” My mother asked.

“That’s because you always told me those field trips were a waste of time! But I’ve been looking forward to this one for so long! Can I pretty please go?” I begged her, in my second-grade style lingo.

My mother sighed, and she shook her head. “No, honey. I’m sorry. You can’t go.”

“Why?” I inquired.

“Because,” my mother shamefully looked down, “we can’t afford it.”

When my mother said that she couldn’t afford to pay for a $50 field trip, I realized then that we were poor. I never thought money was a barrier until that day.

In 6th grade, the same thing happened again. There was an overnight field trip coming up, and we were all going to be staying at the Smokey Mountains, in Tennessee. I had never been on a field trip before, so I was especially excited that there was going to be an overnight one. I came home on Friday night, and I asked my mom if I could attend the field trip. However, when she saw that the cost was $250, she shook her head no. I didn’t have to ask why; I just snatched the form from her hand, and I ran inside my room. That’s when I realized I had to do something about this.

Technology had always been of interest to me. I sometimes spent hours at an end, in my room, researching about technology on my old laptop. So that day, when I was fuming in my room about not being able to attend the overnight field trip, an idea popped into my head. That idea? Virtual reality field trips.

I read an article a few days before about engineers working on ways that virtual reality can be used in classrooms. They didn’t mention anything about virtual reality field trips, but that article sparked my idea of it.

I ran into my mom’s room and grabbed her laptop. I quickly engrossed myself into hours of work, researching about virtual reality and its’ incredible uses. There was an endless number of benefits of virtual reality field trips. The new presentation of this information would stimulate students. In fact, about 75 percent of the Forbes Most Valuable Brands have created some form of virtual experience for customers or employees.

I could feel my idea growing inside of my head, and although I went to sleep at 1:00 AM that night, I was buzzing with energy.

I woke up at 7:00 AM the next morning, even though it was a Saturday. I would have the house to myself the entire day, as my mom already left for work, and she would only come back in the evening. I knew I had to get working.

Although my laptop was old, I was still able to download a relatively-new prototype software that allowed me to experiment with virtual reality. I designed a prototype virtual reality field trip experience to Stone Mountain, and I used pictures I found of Stone Mountain and videos of guides giving tours to people. I worked on that prototype the entire day, and even though I had a limited amount of time and resources to make this virtual reality experience, it still turned out quite alright.

Monday morning came, and I took my laptop to school that day. I spent all weekend enhancing my prototype, and I wanted to bring my laptop to school to show my idea to my teachers. I dropped all my belongings off in my homeroom, except for my laptop, and I went to see my technology teacher, Mrs. Menston. When I walked into the room, she was sitting at her desk. I slowly approached her, careful not to distract any of the students in the room.

Mrs. Menston looked up from her stack of papers. “Good morning, Xiomara. How may I help you?”

“Well, I had this idea of virtual reality field trips. My mom,” I lowered my voice to a whisper, “couldn’t afford to pay for the overnight field trip to Stone Mountain, and I was really upset about that. I became inspired by that to create a solution. This weekend, I downloaded a software that allowed me to create a prototype of a virtual reality field trip. I actually have my laptop here to show you, if you want to see it.” Mrs. Menston nodded her head. I logged in my laptop, and then opened my prototype.

I soon began navigating through it, detailing what I was showing to her. Even though I was not looking at her face, I could tell that she was paying close attention to my presentation.

Long story short, Mrs. Menston was impressed. In fact, she told our county superintendent about my idea. I didn’t expect a response from him, of course, but when he responded and said that he wanted to meet with me, I was beyond ecstatic. I took my laptop with me to the meeting, and I showed him my prototype, making my presentation as detailed as possible. He was impressed as well. With his help, I got my school to donate some money to help build on my prototype.

It took about a year for me to finish my prototype, and another year for it to catch on. Mrs. Menston and my school were by my side the entire way. By the time I graduated eighth grade, three schools in my county began using my prototype. After a few years, I created an entirely new software that allowed for virtual reality field trips to take place. Soon, every school in my county was using this software. It saved on costs and time, and most importantly, it allowed for students like me to experience it as well.

I never expected my idea to expand so much. I never expected to help so many people. But I did. And I realized that anyone can make an impact. Anyone can change the world.


See History

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  • Writing4Life

    Wow! Great! Is this from a real life experience or is it made up?

    9 months ago
  • Y.S ☮

    Dang it, this reminds me my big sister spend my $190 dollars I saved from 3rd grade :'(

    12 months ago