For months Rainer has been occupying any available laptops at MLOV to write his personal statement for college applications and scholarships. We let him use the laptops on one condition. that we can publish one of his essays on our blog. After months of laboring, here it is!
“Destiny is not a matter of change, it is a matter of choices. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved” -William Jennings Bryan
I will never forget the day my mother left us. It was February 28, 2004 when she migrated to the United States of America to help improve our economic status and lifestyle. Her move gave us the chance to pursue a better education and a comfortable life after she separated from my father. Her migration also brought me closer to my siblings, because I had to take responsibility for my younger brother. In high school I focused on my education to make my mom proud. I wanted her to be proud to have a son with the highest grades. Even though she was far away we continued fighting for the dream to be together as a family again. After a while we lost contact with our father because he started a new family. During these years my grandfather was 83 years old, he took the place of my father and was also my mentor and teacher. I spent
with him nearly my entire life learning about construction, cabinetmaking, and most importantly to love the city where I am living no matter where it is because wherever there are people who care about you is where we should call home. He taught me that everyone has a place in their society and that we have to find our place, and play our role to improve our communities.
In my life I have gone through education in two cultures: Peruvian and American. I was educated in Peru at a public school called Luis Vallejos Santoni, a technical school. My school provided students who attended it the chance to earn a technical career after high school. This is where I took culinary classes for 4 years, learning how to cook traditional foods and prepare certain types of drinks that are popular in Peru. This opened up new opportunities for me to get into the tourist industry. I started to work to earn money for the transportation from my school to my home because my mother could only send us money for groceries and school supplies. I did not want my mother to have to worry about my transportation as well. However, the owner of the restaurant knew that I was a student and could not work without the permission of an adult so he took advantage and paid me less than other workers. I could not work full time because I did not want my job to interfere with my education, so I decided to work every weekend and during school breaks. After 2 years I became a senior and could not continue working for the restaurant because I needed to prepare myself for college. With the support of my teachers and peers I studied hard hoping to get into college to become good individual to support my community.
Before I could finish school in my country my mother suggested I immigrate to the United States with my younger brother and sister. My brother and I arrived in United States on November 26, 2009. My sister could not come and she stayed in Peru. During the time I have been in this country I have worked to learn the English language and adapt to my new environment. Throughout this process I have met different kinds of people and organizations with my same objective: to improve this society. I became part of the Latin America Youth Center where I learned about leadership, the Latino community’s problems and how to use technology to help community member of Washington D.C. I have also been in Many Language One Voice, learning the importance of the rights of English Languages Learners (ELLs), and that people have the power to change their communities. I am currently also a member of a program with the purpose to rebuild Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School to provide a better learning environment for all students.
My mother’s decision to move to United States changed my life. It made me focus on my education and take responsibilities for my decisions to grow as a person. The education I received from different cultures changed my perspective about world. It has taught me that everyone has to work hard to achieve their goal. American culture taught me that we can help each other to succeed. My experience as an immigrant has taught me that I have a choice to work for my success and work to contribute to my society to make a better place. However, I know I cannot accomplish my dream to become a Civil Engineer and help this world alone. Just as an individual should help improve their communities, communities must also support individuals. Communities and individuals have to work together to improve society. This is why I am applying to Esperanza Scholarship. Your scholarship will help me achieve my goal, in turn we can work together to make our society a better place for all of us to live.