As a Hispanic-American woman, mother of three, wife, an English as a New Language teacher, cancer survivor, and a first-generation graduate, I truly understand the hardship, struggles, and sacrifices one experiences to achieve your goals in life.
I was raised by a loving, hardworking mother of three. My mother immigrated from the Dominican Republic, with a 5th-grade education and didn’t speak English. My father was in prison for most of my childhood. We were poor, and though we received government assistance, we worked several jobs to pay the bills, college tuition, and other expenses. My mother did her best, providing us with funds to help pay for college books or tuition fees. She babysat full-time during the day, worked extra shifts in the evening, and borrowed money from friends. I received some financial aid to help pay for the college costs, but it wasn't enough. So I had to apply for a loan every year to stay in school and worked two jobs. However, every little bit of money helped.
What kept me focused? I knew the opportunities were out there in the world. My desire to fulfill the aspirations my parents had for our family, the American Dream, and my ambition for a better life, pushed me forward.
Providing a scholarship will support students by reducing the financial burden, giving students the freedom to focus on their studies, and allowing them more freedom for community involvement.
Lastly, I want to reward candidates for their success in overcoming challenges both academically and personally. This is my hope for the Hispanic Achievement Scholarship.