I am Dulce Espinoza-Valdez, a 20-year-old from Santa Maria, California. I will be majoring in Agricultural and Environmental Plant Science with a concentration in Fruit and Crop Science at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Several reasons have empowered me to go into the Agriculture industry as a Pest Control Advisor (PCA). My mother is an immigrant from Mexico and like many others she did not speak English, have a formal education past the sixth grade, and went straight to work in the fields at the age of 16. My mother has picked every vegetable and fruit grown in the valley including broccoli, cauliflower, and strawberries. Despite those challenges, my mother learned English, earned a GED, attended some college, and became a Nationally Certified Medical Assistant. Her hard work has led to her to be promoted to the Care Coordinator position, of the largest clinic in Santa Maria. My mother’s self-motivation and work ethic has shown me that through hard work one can accomplish their goals. This is the work ethic I strive to have every day and the reason I know I can succeed in and past college working in the Agriculture industry as a PCA. For the entirety of high school, I had been part of Santa Maria FFA. I took the opportunity to be a member of their Vegetable Crop Judging team. Throughout the past two and a half years of being on the Vegetable Crop Judging team I learned to judge the quality of vegetables and be able to identify three hundred vegetables, weeds, insects, and vegetable diseases. After learning about vegetable crops the team and I would travel to UC Merced, Modesto Junior College, UC Davis, CSU Fresno, and Cal Poly SLO to compete against other teams. In 2016 we finally became the California FFA State Champion Vegetable Crop Judging team. This experience has led me to go into a Crop Science major and eventually earn a PCA license. The biggest impact on my decision to go to a university was when in I worked in the fields for a short time. I inspected and washed cauliflower as it was cut, and then I would package it. I saw firsthand the damage pests can do to produce— I decided then that I wanted to have a role in preventing pest damage. When I earn a Pest Control Adviser license after graduating I will work for a local agriculture company. I will inspect crops for signs of disease and treat the field as a doctor would examine and treat a patient. The work done by PCAs keeps crops healthy and feeds thousands of people and I want to do my part to ensure a better and secure future. I work hard and have endless support from those around me and because of this I know I can be successful now and in the future.