and Janet Miranda moved to the United States when JJ was 4 years old. They
had given up a comfortable life in the Philippines to guarantee schooling
for their younger child and only son.
In San Francisco, Jessie Mirandawho had been a bookkeeper in a bank in the Philippinesworked the graveyard shift as a security guard at a hotel. During the day, Janet Miranda worked the front desk at the same hotel. They rented a two-bedroom apartment and made sure one parent was around to watch out for their son.
When their son started college, they moved to a smaller studio apartment to help pay his living expenses.
I owe them a lot for what they did for me, JJ Miranda says. Work ethic, how to live, how to be a good personI got from them.
Miranda is chatty, self-deprecating and above all, thoroughly regular. Even if he did rack up enough advanced placement credits in high school to graduate college in three years. He doesnt score As in all his classes.
In June, Miranda started graduate work at Harvard University. And while he may dream of finding a cure for cancer, Miranda says he also would like to touch people on a more personal level.
I really want to be able toif its possibleto make the same type of difference for someone else that Arthur and other people made in my life, he says.
Janie Har is a reporter with the Oregonian. Copyright
2001, Oregonian Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.