Growing Up I found myself in a unique position as a young child. My mother was born in South Korea and moved to the United States when she was two years old, and my father was born in Alabama. After meeting in their college years, my parents moved to California to go to law school. Later, they married, and had me in 1995. My little sister, Jessica, was born in 1997. There was always a blend of culture in my home and the blend manifested itself more and more as I got older. The distinct Korean tradition and strong ties to family was always apparent, which always led me to subconsciously question how my father felt about his mother and father’s divorce. But my equal love for my three sets of grandparents, parents, and sister, led to my ultimate amalgamation of identities into who I am today: Trevor Hyman. I draw multiple characteristics from my different heritages, which is why I can associate myself with multiple social groups. In Southern California, there is a tremendous Hispanic population. Therefore, when I went to participate in team sports, namely, soccer, I always played against Latinos, Asians, or Caucasians. Fortunately for me, all three groups accepted me: my half-white part with the white kids, my half-Asian part with the Asian kids, and again, the Latinos considered me Asian so I could fit in with them. Throughout my life I have adapted to the environment, be it academically, socially, or athletically, all thanks to my mixed ancestry.
Now, at 16 years old, I am adapting, once again, to an unfamiliar environment here in Casa Grande, Arizona, playing for the youth-professional academy Real Salt Lake. I left my family eight months ago and turned my back on the life a normal junior in high school lives. I left the car rides with friends, the football games on Friday nights, and the tender embrace of a loving mother. I traded it all for sweat, work, hardship, but at the same time, camaraderie, opportunity, and the thing I love most in this world: soccer. These past eight months have been some of the greatest of my short life, and although I’ve had some boring weekends, I’ve had my fair share of memories that I will hold onto forever, one specifically, being the weekend we flew to San Jose to play San Jose Earthquakes. We were down 1-0, in a foreign place, and against a good opponent. At halftime, we collectively took a deep breath and refocused our minds and pulled together as a team. In the first 20 minutes of the second half, we put in two goals. I scored one off of a cross from one of our players, Corey Nemeth, and then had the assist to Junior Juarez for us to go up. Closer to the end of the game, Andrew Brody netted a phenomenal finish and we ended at 3-1. The feeling of coming together as a team and a family has yet to leave me since that day. These boys here are my family, I eat, sleep, study, play, and fight side by side with them, and I do not see that changing any time soon.
In the end, though, I am here, in Arizona, to become a better player and person, and to play Division I soccer. I am a lucky kid to be in this situation, with facilities and coaches that most professional athletes do not even have access to. I will stop at nothing to achieve my goals, and I do not know where my endeavors will guide me, however, for now, I know that Real Salt Lake-AZ is the right place for me and I will use the tools provided to me to take my love of the game as far as I can, be it at the professional or collegiate level.