I can remember everything as far back as preschool—when life was as simple as the colored building blocks I used to play with, and when stress and sleep deprivation weren’t even factors that came into play. The world I come from is a planet like everyone else’s but the life I live is that of my own; factors such as community and family have influenced my life, and therefore are important parts of my world.
I grew up in Tiburon Ca.—a high-class and affluent town—but I lived in a low-class apartment complex, and as a child I was always conscience of the financial divide between my family and the rest of the families who contributed to the town’s prosperous reputation. Growing up poor, in a wealthy society, has taught me the value of a dollar and it has also taught me to value life—with or without money. At first, my motivation to succeed was driven by the fact that all my peers were financially superior to me; the frustration of being inferior was ultimately the fuel which drove me to excel in school in order to create a greater lifestyle for myself, and for my family. To this day, I am still striving for a better life; the difference between then and now is that money is not the only incentive—achieving success and a personal well-being is my greater and ultimate goal. The community I was raised in—although it was an environment dictated by class and wealth—has taught me that with education and knowledge a healthy and happy life can be achieved, despite the wealth factor.
My parents brought me into this world—they gave me life—and since birth they have been the two people who have influenced me the most. Their genes and DNA lie within me; I am a part of them as much as they are a part of me, and without their parenting and guidance I would not have become the person I am today. With love, patience, and understanding they have successfully raised three children, and although their childhood consisted of poor education and difficult labor, they did everything in their grasp to provide a good life for me and my two sisters—a life that they themselves never got to live. By taking me to Mexico every year since I was a child to visit their hometown and my many relatives, my parents have showed me the importance of family and culture, and how knowing where you come from is something a person should never forget. The sacrifices and efforts they made to raise a family in a country who did not welcome them, and even fought to get them out, are what inspire me the most; my parent’s story is proof that with mental strength and keen motivation anything I aspire can be attained, no matter what obstacles are set in my path.
My life can be defined as a series of experiences and events that I have lived through and have learned from in the past seventeen years, and although many factors have affected who I have become today, my community and family are two of the most influential. The world I come from has ultimately shaped my dreams, and my dream is to one day become someone who contributes positively to the world, someone who has inscribed their name and knowledge in society, and someone who despite all odds still achieves a greater life.