My life as well as those of many others has been full of many obstacles. As a kid, the main obstacle I seemed to continually face was not having a stable family or home. I had no control over the decisions of my parents or their own life that would later affect my own. It was from an early age in which I began to see the world in a new perspective. After all these years, I am able to understand that life has been difficult for them as well. Both my parents were undocumented Immigrants who needed to work twice as hard to provide for our family of 6 at the time. It feel s as if once my parents began to face difficulties within their marriage, I began my own journey into independence, a path many don’t begin until they are at least 18. Once my Dad detached himself from our family, my mom and siblings had no choice but to move constantly, until finally my mom had to leave to Mexico where she had a better chance at providing for us. Instability must be the biggest challenge for me, because it lead to more challenges involving friendships, education, family and my own goals.
While facing these challenges at a young age, I always felt limited towards what I could do. I showed courage by not letting that feeling control my future. I realized that although I have to work twice as hard as others to reach my goal or run a bit faster to catch up to the rest, it meant that I’d be twice as ready for what came next as life and shaping me into the individual I am today.
As a teenager, my mom and I understood that I’d only be able to pursue my goals and plans if I continued my education in the US. Since my mom was undocumented she was no longer able to come back to the US forcing me to face a decision that would determine my own future. It was either, to live with my mom in Mexico, adapt to a new lifestyle and limit my own education or start my life as an independent teenager in the US, where I would have to learn life lessons, face emotional, financial and educational challenges all on my own without the guidance of a parent. This decision was never easy, especially because I know it affects my mom. Not being able to grow along her side all these years has really affected both her and I. Sometimes when we speak on the phone with each other, we both feel alone. We both express to each other how we would’ve liked to have been able to grow older together and see each other everyday. The tears my mother and I have shared because of this decision will never be in vain, I will continue to work hard everyday until I achieve my goals and succeed.
After High School, my goal was to go to the University of Arizona and graduate with a degree in Computer Engineering. It has been clear to me since a young age that I wanted to learn everything I could about Computer Engineering. My own curiosity towards the science and engineering behind a computer made me want to one day, call myself a Computer Engineer. It’s not only a goal, but something I continue to be passionate about. I a m aware of the power and undiscovered capabilities behind computer engineering. I see so much potential in it, making it something I want to be part of. It has been my motivation for almost half of my life now to which I can say I am very dedicated towards this goal. I’m excited for what’s ahead of me, giving me the motivation to achieve such goals.
My dedication towards my education has also allowed me to be involved in school as well as my community. I became an NHS member at Alta Vista High School my Sophomore year, and my Junior year I was elected President, something which I felt honored for and embraced every day while in high school. Since then, I was part of community charity events and I was able to bring a recycling program into the school, as well as a new charity the school now carries year round called “Water for Charity.” This charity came from a simple idea, selling water bottles for $1 and at the end of each month, donate the amount raised to a different charity. This charity has come a long way and would not have been possible without the NHS team at Alta Vista High School and the other clubs who have partnered with it. Recycling Programs and Water for Charity are only two of the events I have been part of, other events and charities include Blood Drives, Toy Drives, Thanksgiving Drives and many more.
Although I have struggled in the past and achieved many things I consider great, I thought all of it would prepare me for my life after high school, and for a while I felt ready but all that changed on April 23rd of 2019. On this special day, I was diagnosed with B-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Losing my hair became frightening and has changed my confidence and the way I picture myself. Living with cancer, chemotherapy side effects and losing my hair is my current life challenge. During high school, I learned to overcome and over achieve, I hope to do the same with cancer and embrace the baldness that comes with it in order to once again add to what makes me strong. I hope to one day change the world for the better, I understand I have the power to do so, one step at a time.