Who's Denise?

My name is Edrianne Denise Beldia, and this is my story.

I was born on May 14, 1997 in a small town in the Philippines. I did not get my first memory with my mom and biological father until I was six years old. My mom had left me with my grandparents because she decided it was best if she worked in the US to earn enough money, since being a nurse in a third world country does not get you nearly enough to raise a child when you're single. She came to visit me and told me that one year, she will take me with her to the US. Two years later, I was informed that I will be leaving the Philippines to live with my mom and my stepfather. I also found out that I was going to be a big sister, which was one of the biggest news of my life. I remember the very first time I met my stepfather. I was at the airport and he came to greet me with a Disney princess lollipop. I knew that we were gonna get along well, which is funny because now I definitely feel like I am closer to him that my own mom.

I carried my developing talents to the United States with me. I was exposed to music at such a young age, and I don't know what I'd do without it. I've tried singing, dancing, and playing the piano and viola. The one talent that really stuck with me to this day is playing the piano. My grandmother had a keyboard and an organ at our house in the Philippines, and I loved messing around with the keys. At age 5, I began learning songs by ear. My grandmother decided it would be best if I take lessons, which I continued doing in the US until I was 12. Then I realized I really didn't enjoy reading music, and much prefer to learn songs by ear. My confidence began to grow when my friends first heard me play. I receive high praise from the people surrounding me, which makes me feel very confident in myself. As many people know, I am extremely shy. I believe playing the piano is my way of expressing myself. Music is how I tell my story. Some days, I'll learn a catchy song I listened to with my friends because it takes me back to that moment and makes me feel happy. Some days, I'll learn a song with more of a downbeat because I'm feeling sad. Playing the piano is a big part of my life and always will be.

I'm very thankful to have supportive family and friends around me--they have given me hope and confidence in myself. As a grow older, I want to be able to pursue my goal of becoming a nurse and continue to be active with music during college and beyond!

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