Education Saved Me

My very first appearance as Miss Minnesota Latina was at Jefferson Community School

in Mrs. Cruz’s

third grade class. I had just enough time to connect with all of the

students through a book-reading, discussions filled with laughter, and a very brief ballet

class! During my reign, I want to focus on the students in our community. I believe it’s

crucial to build the confidence of school-children, especially since they’re at a young age

and their curiosity to discover the world around them is at a peak.

The beautiful thing about children is their resilience and persistence to dream big

despite the troubles they may be facing at home. Many Latino students are held at high

standards and accumulate responsibilities due to their growing knowledge of the

English language and their ability to better help their families. Like many children of

immigrant parents, I became my mother’s translator and by the age of 12 I was

knowledgeable enough to become my mother’s caretaker as she recovered from a stroke.

As I watched over for my mother’s safety, overall health, medication intake, and

rehabilitation progress, my job was to care for my own wellbeing as well.

Looking back, I realize I used my education as an escape from adulthood responsibilities

and back to childhood exploration. It was the words of guest speakers, my teachers, and

the simple thought of one day doing big things that pushed me as a student to keep

learning. I’m not saying it was an easy journey or that I never felt discouraged during

the process; but there’s nothing a heart with resilience can’t do. As a school-girl I

struggled through poverty, many hospital visits, and recovery from PTSD; BUT the key

word is “through!” Upon graduating high school I was recognized for my academic

achievements by Pioneer Press and was accepted into multiple colleges across the

country, with scholarships. Throughout this year, as Miss Minnesota Latina, I desire to

make an impact on students of all ages. I hope my story and school visits inspires

students to push through just one more assignment, one more class, or one more year,

eventually helping them graduate and seek higher education.


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