My parents were farm workers long before my siblings and I were born. They lived in small towns in Mexico and caught the bus on their way to the fields. They dropped out of school at such a young age to help support their families. When they came to the U.S. together, they did not have much. They stayed at my aunts one-bedroom apartment along with seven other people. It was a packed house but soon, they would begin their journey up to the northern states to continue their farm working career. By the time I was two, I had a sister and a brother and lived in Missouri while my parents picked apples. Then when my little sister was born, we traveled up to Colorado to clip onions, later to New Mexico to package pumpkins, soon enough it became Iowa and Nebraska for corn detasseling. Everywhere we lived, there was a Social Worker to help us with resources. I was able to experience new places and meet new people with different backgrounds that have expanded my respect and acceptance for differences in their lives. We lived through many cold days that we were not used to and many that were ridiculously hot, there were no in-betweens. It was hard work but it allowed me to see what I wanted to get out of my life, something that my parents advocated and that no matter what it could never be taken away from me; my education. I graduated from high school in 2013, a couple of months before that I was at Walmart with my dad and brother when I revived a call from my migrant counselor announcing that I had been accepted to St. Edward’s University in Austin. Today I am an undergraduate student at St. Edward’s University on my way to receive my Bachelors in Social Work and minor in Spanish. I decided on Social Work because growing up as farm workers, there was always someone there to not only lend us a helping hand when we needed it the most but to also treat us as humans. Those people did not belittle us because of our backgrounds, lifestyles, or work title, but they made us feel as if we were just as important in this community as anyone else. I want to do that; I want to give back to someone the way they did for us but in my own way. Upon graduation, I want to begin my journey to becoming a case worker at a adoption or foster care agency. I want to be the resource for someone, especially kids that do not have a voice or much control over their lives. At the moment, I am continuing my education to learn ways of communicating with people and gaining experience to better serve them and my community. My family still travels to Iowa and New Mexico every summer, I get to join them as well. I have learned so much from being a migrant student. From being the new kid to having to be away from home or not being allowed to speak Spanish in certain schools, it was difficult but still I am so proud of being a migrant student. It has allowed me to have experiences that I would not have otherwise, to have friends all over the states, many memories of my childhood, it pushed me to work hard for what I want, and it was my allowed me to take the path of receiving a college education that continues to make my parents proud. In my room I have a picture of the first fields I ever stepped foot on, an onion field in Colorado. In the picture are my dad and some family friends next to old family car. There’s a story written in that picture that continues to grow, a story of countless years and hard work that remind me what I am currently working for every day and what that outcome of helping people will be.
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