Introduction: Tanya Joaquin’s Childhood & Teen Years
Tanya Joaquin was born on March 14, 1994, in Honolulu, Hawaii to her father, Toby and her mother, Tanya. Tanya was adopted into a white family with two other siblings and attended Punahou School where she graduated with a 4.1 GPA in 2012. She’s always been an all-around good student who’s driven to succeed. Her uncle, was who took her and her siblings on school trips. She also went on many family vacations to Australia, where she practiced karate with cousins and attended dance competitions that were also held in Australia. Tanya even went as far as to say that she always wanted to be as successful as her father, Peter Joaquin, a former professional surfer whose shot at making it in the pro surf world ended when he injured himself while surfing.
Tanya was accepted to New York University (NYU) in September of 2012. In March of 2013, Tanya and her boyfriend, Jason Hirschhorn, had their first kiss on a beach in Hawaii. They kept their relationship private for months until one day as Jason was driving her back home from school, he pulled over and kissed her outside. After that day, Tanya and Jason were inseparable. They were together for two years. They ended their relationship after she was found in California.
The Struggle To Keep Her Sisters Safe and Sound
On November 21, 2012 Tanya was at home in Oakland and all of a sudden, she got a call from her sister and she said that there was a shooting. Tanya’s sister told her to play dead and then hang up the phone because she didn’t want her sister to hear all the commotion. When the family went out to watch what happened at the shooting scene, they saw that it was their house on fire. Tanya and her sister were both inside the house at the time of the shooting, but fortunately, they were both alive. Tanya said that she was very angry when she found out what happened to her family’s home and that it was very hard for them to move on after all they’ve been through. The worst part is that Tanya’s little sister, who was staying at the house the night of the fire, was taken out by social services and placed in a home in Southern California.
“It’s good to have my sister back but I’m worried about my baby sister. I can’t get her back. Social services took her away and I don’t know where she is,” said Tanya.
A Bright Future Ahead for Tanya Joaquin
Tanya Joaquin dream is to become a neurosurgeon who performs brain surgery to cure epileptic patients. She says that she wants to help children, especially children with special needs. Tanya is currently attending UC Berkeley, where she’s on the Dean’s List and was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Society in 2016. Her hope for the future, is that her story will inspire other black kids in Oakland to not give up on their dreams and that they will get the education they need to go as far as she has in life. She also hopes to inspire other kids to be the best person they can be and to never let their dreams be stomped out by persecution. On top of that, Tanya is also working towards getting her PhD in neuroscience, while volunteering at UC Berkeley to help children with special needs. The Bay Area is proud of this young lady, who has worked hard to earn her spot in a very competitive field.
Conclusion: What We Can Learn from the Life of Tanya Joaquin
Tanya Joaquin said that when she became a representation of the community, where people from all different backgrounds stood together, it inspired her to feel like we all have a lot in common. She wants to be a positive example for other kids who are in the place she was once very much in, and she wants them to know they can be successful as well. She believes that there are many ways to give back, and she’s using her experience to help kids with special needs. She also wants them to know how important it is to get a good education and that if they do, they can experience the same thing she’s experiencing. She believes that education is the key.
When Tanya was 12, she started her first job at a restaurant. She told her friends that she was working at the restaurant, and they asked her if they could come along with her. She said yes, because she knew it would make them feel special that she was including them in something she enjoyed doing. She said that when they came along, they made school dances and mixers more exciting.
She said that as she got older, her life started to change for the better, and she found that when other kids saw her around them it made them feel good about themselves. She wanted to give back what these inspiring kids had given her.