My name is Juan Guzman. I’m from Guerrero, Mexico. I was born on October 11, 1998. For 5 years I’ve been in the United States. I am attending Glades Central HS, and this is my senior year. I have passed through many obstacles that many other people would consider the end and stop doing what they want to do. But for me, those obstacles are there to see how strong I am. All that I’ve been through in my life has helped me to learn about life. Sometimes it is really hard for me here, because it is really different from my homeland. Here, I feel like I’m born again, and I have to learn everything from the beginning — from how to talk a new language to how to read it and adapt to a new life. Every move, every time I make a decision, I always talk to God for help; He’s always on my mind as well as my mom. My mom was the only one who prepared me for what the future would look like, and she always told me that the problems or situations I am passing through don’t matter. She, every time, everywhere and every single day, said to me to commit myself to God and everything will be easy and all my problems will be solved. From my first day I got to this country, my mom told me “this a country will give you a lot of opportunities; don’t waste them; use them”. She took care of me and my brother and sister. She always worried about how we were doing in school, and if she didn’t like what our grades were, she used to have a serious conversation with us.
But time goes on, and nobody can do anything about it. Now all of that advice to be better in life and do better in school is gone. The only person that I could count on is with me no more. I miss everything about her. I will never forget my mom; I always carry her in my mind everywhere. Every situation I have, I just record what she would tell me in that moment, and I do what I have to do to make me feel comfortable. I don’t do this just for me; all what I do is for my mom. Even though she is not here, I know she sees me and she is guiding me in a better way to get what I want. My mom passed away in August, 2013. I was still a little kid at that time; I never thought about the future. For a year I felt depressed about the absence of my mom, but as the time passed, I considered that my mom never will come back, and I started to live life by myself. I think about my own future, and I will not give up because I am forced to succeed thanks to my mom. I still have support from my dad, but is not the same. It’s strange, because for 12 years, I never had a great communication with my dad. Every problem I had my mom supported me, and every time I looked for her for help on my problems. I never thought that my mom would one day leave us The absence of my mom hit me really hard in my way of life, in my studies, and in how we live in my home and communicate with my dad. I still have some problems communicating with my dad. He doesn’t know much of me; he thinks that I am bad at school and my brother is better than me, but he never talks to me and asks me why I’m not good at school. He doesn’t imagine that I really miss my mom, and that’s why my grades in school dropped so bad. Even though I got my grades up and am the same, it is not easy. The problems and the pressure of graduation has me crazy, because I can’t concentrate in one thing first. I don’t complain about this, I just pray to God that everything gets better, and everything I’ve done is okay. Every day, I just reflect on my future and think about it. I think about in how my life looks, how I’m going to live, and how I’m going to overcome problems to succeed and get a good life. In the past this 3 years my life has changed completely, because my future is now on me, on my endeavors, and on the decisions I make every day. I learned that nothing is forever and that you cannot be dedicated to one thing. You have to look for you own way of life and never depend on someone or something, because once it’s gone, it hits you really hard and can change your whole life. Getting over the pain will be really hard. On your own, you have to learn the way life works, because you may get a hard hit in the moment you don’t expect it. If you don’t know how to live, it would be a hard to succeed in your future. This is something that I can tell you; this is how I felt after my mom was not here. I just remember all what she told me to do and everything she wanted to see — seeing her son succeed. It is hard to reach that goal, but I believe in myself, and, even though my mom is not here, I know, where ever she is, she will be so proud of me and my actions. Today, the problems have not stopped, but, with the support of my older sister, I am still going and not giving up. I can’t see me in the future right now, because I can’t decide what I want to be. For some reason I want to go to the Marines to see how strong I am, not just physically, but if I am strong emotionally and prepared to live my own life. Right now my main goal is to graduate and go to the Marines and, if I have an option to go to college, I will go. I want to demonstrate to everybody that whatever happens to me, I will never give up, even though it’s hard and I feel so bad. I still believe in myself, and I will succeed in life and still learn my own life.