Ever since I can remember, school has always been my main priority. When I was younger I remember seeing my parents worn out from work and telling me “si no quieres trabajar como nosotros toda tu vida, Estudia!” I always had and still have in mind the idea of making my parents proud by graduating college. I, like many other students all over the United States, would always say to myself, ‘I am going to go to college and take care of my parents so they don’t have to keep on killing themselves with work’.
As I reached high school, my goal of going to college slowly bean to fade due to one of the biggest obstacles anyone can have: being undocumented. I felt like I was living with double identities that fooled my friends and even myself. Whenever I would talk to my friends I felt American. When I was with my family I felt Mexican, but I felt like I didn’t fit in to either country. I was born in Mexico and raised in the U.S. since I was four years old.
My status was beginning to be the biggest stumbling block I had ever confronted. It stopped me from getting an amazing job, applying for scholarships, receiving financial aid. All these obstacles discouraged me from seeing a future for myself and from applying to college. During my junior year in high school, I felt left out from my entire class – they all were planning large accomplishments while I didn’t feel like I had a future. I just wanted what everybody else around me had: to be documented and have an easier path to a higher education. One day I had the courage to tell one of my teachers about my status, and he told me about Connecticut Students for a Dream. I decided to attend their first of many meetings in support of the DREAM Act. The group motivated me to get back up and to encounter and throw down my obstacle.
This fall I will be a freshman at Fairfield University. A few months ago, Obama passed a policy allowing some undocumented citizens to apply for a work permit and the opportunity to have a drivers license. Thanks to this new policy I can now take advantage of this opportunity to work and pay for my own books and education, and with the drivers license it will be easier for me to commute to school and back home without having to bother my family.
Things happen for a reason. I, like many other students, are undocumented for a reason. We are strong enough to work harder than any other to make our dreams come true.
This essay was republished from OwntheDreamCT, a blog where undocumented immigrants write about their experiences in the United States.