I was born and raised in the small town of Ivanhoe, CA where at the age of 14, I began my first career as a farmworker. I am currently pursuing an MBA from Georgetown University and plan to pursue a career in consulting after business school.
The long of it..
My journey up to this point is an unlikely one. As the son of immigrant farmworkers who grew up in the impoverished neighborhood of Ivanhoe, CA, today, at the age of 27, the fact that I am attending a top business school is incomprehensible for many members of my community. You see, many of my peers currently labor the fields of California’s Central Valley. From the young age of 12 through my early years in college I too labored the fields. Farmwork was a “career” and “family tradition” I was supposed to carry forward, but wanted no part in because I discovered the value and power of education.
While my story may not be unique, the reality and future of too many kids in my community is one of continued marginalization stemming from a lack of resources. When nearly 60% of sons and daughters of migrant farmworkers drop out of high school, the only clear destination left for those kids is the fields. This leads to the continuation of a cycle that seldom and with much difficulty gets broken. Thus, I am one of the lucky few who has been able to break the glass ceiling and graduate from college.
I am seeking investments to pay for my MBA degree because I want to be a leader in and example for my community; I want to help members of my community make my story the rule and not the exception. I am motivated not only by my personal trials and tribulations, but most importantly by the thousands of farmworkers in my community who, like my mother, labor the fields every day with the simple hope that their children won’t have to. While my short-term goal is to establish an Educational Management Organization in my community in order to improve student performance, my long-term vision is to bring business and public resources together in an effort to improve economic conditions; in a community where 25% of its residents currently live under the poverty level, both business and public leaders need to work together to change the economic trajectory of the community.
An MBA will allow me to develop the technical, business, management and leadership skills necessary to accomplish my goals. The academic and personal challenges I’ve faced, largely due to growing up in a homogenous and isolated community, have not deterred me thus far and will only continue to motivate me as I pursue my social entrepreneurial endeavors. As my family has exemplified through their harvest of oranges and other crops, there is no substitute for hard work. Ultimately, hard work coupled with an MBA degree will propel me to the next step in changing the lives of members of the migrant farmworker community—my community.