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.