I grew up as a migrant student and I witnessed my parents working hard all year long to earn money and pay their bills, rent, and food. At the age of 14, I start working with my dad picking different crops.
Starting from a point where you don't know what way to take and not signals around you to lead you to take the best road is hard to take decisions. I was a migrant student while just entering high school and at first that made a difference to my life goals because I had to deal with the challenge to talk to people that did not speak my language. No one could help me but myself to get out of the problem I was into, I had to take classes to learn English while my friends just take the classes they needed to graduate. Not only that but the necessity to know English in order to know what the class of the day was about got me behind on my credits to graduate and so be able to go to college. To make the time I spend on English learning classes I decided to take summer school that way I could get back on track for my credits. All the classes that I took in high school were essential for me to go to college, which was somehow difficult because I also have to work every weekend and some days after school. I did not have time to have some fun because I rather have to study and work, but at the end of the day I know I was doing this to be able to go to college.
While growing up on a farm working family I often heard from friends and people close to me that I would not even finish high school because I came to the US while in high school level of education and also because my parent's income would not help to afford college and I would have to work and give all the money to them to pay rent and all the bills. The only support I had was from my parents who were the most motivating. Every time I told them I had the opportunity to go to a leadership conference, summer retreat or any educational event related, they would let me go. They always taught me to take advantage of the opportunities that I got. In one hand side I was recommended by my advisor or teachers to go to conferences or retreat, which gave me the opportunity to apply to most of them. I started going to leadership retreats since I was a Junior, which the best one was (CLYLP) Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Program on which I was able to meet people in congress and important people from the Capital State of California in Sacramento. Also during my senior year I went to several conferences that gave information about college, how to apply, what were some requisites in order to be able to be officially a student, what to do when accepted and what other methods of help to get benefit of, all this information motivated me to look forward to get into higher education.
When I was accepted to college I did not know what to expect, I only knew that it was a different story than high school. I knew I had to learn new material that would make the difference on my goal expectations because I would have to use methods and make stuff that I would not have think of while in high school. The first days of class were a headache because I notice that everything I would do should be by my own, different methods to learn, studying with friends was my best option, and no help from my parents, teacher or friends when I have to deal with personal issues because now I was independent. Now the good part of college was being part of California State University, Fresno's CAMP Program because on every day they would tell us things we should be aware of if we want to be successful student and if we want to become successful persons for our community. CAMP Program has always being friendly when we need a council to take decisions regarding our way through college, what would benefit us and what would be prejudicial in a long run. CAMP is never told me where to step, but has taught me what way is the best to take. Now, I'm studying at California State University Fresno, where I am pursuing a career in Civil Engineering, emphasizing in Water Management and Resources as well as Transportation.