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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

What’s your story

By Leslie Roman  |   From : El Salvador  |   School : Los Angeles School of Global Studies

I was born in 2002 in El Salvador, but my life changed the moment I came to the United States in 2012. No one said that leaving your country would be easy. Leaving you culture, traditions, and your community to come to a new country where you could find new opportunities. The opportunities that I couldn’t find in El Salvador such as an education is what I did found here in the U.S. However, looking for those opportunities that could help me have a better life need some sacrifice. When I say sacrifice I am talking about having to adjust to a new identity. And here is where my story starts.

I migrated from El Salvador to come to the United States, not only to come and reunite with my mother but also because I wanted to be someone in life to make my family proud. I envision myself going to college after finishing high school. I didn’t know which college but all I envisioned was going to college to get my education done and have a job in which I was able to give my full potential. I knew that if I wanted that vision to come true I needed to work hard and set high expectations for myself. Sometimes setting those high expectations for myself meant a lot of pressure on me because every day I wanted to be better for myself. Work harder, try harder, meet my goals, and have more potential everyday till I get where I wanted to be. However, I had one mini thing that made me different from others. I am Latina and English wasn’t my language. There were many days in which I wondered, how would I get to college without knowing the language? How was I able to be at the same level like those that were born here? HOW?! These thoughts were in my mind everyday that I would go to school and made me feel less valuable. However, there was one thing that kept me going. My family and the hope that many people had for me that I would do great things in life. I started to block and leave the negative thought that would tell me I wouldn’t make it. I started to work harder everyday even if I didn’t know how I would get to college. I knew that working hard in high school would need to take me somewhere. I didn’t know how much my hard work would pay off but I did make sure that everyday I had a goal to meet whether it was getting a high school in an essay, getting good grades in a test, and being the best for myself. Show people that being a Latina made me no different from them. Eventually, many struggles came along the way in which some were easier to overcome than others but the biggest one is not forgetting where I come from. Not forget my identity. I am from El Salvador, my roots are from there and therefore, I shall not forget where I stand now and where I come from. Part of my identity and most of my identity is because I was born in El Salvador. I wouldn’t know how to value life and all the opportunities in life if it weren’t that I saw many families being miserable back in El Salvador. When I came to the United States I made sure to value every single little thing that life would give me the opportunity to have such as simply having food on the table. Many families back in my country don’t have that in their tables and I am thankful that I do. My education continued, I kept growing up here in the US and finally, senior year of high school came.

The big year where a lot of seniors apply to college and make their dream come true. And guess what? I still didn’t know where I wanted to go and thought if I was even gonna have the chance to go to college. I didn’t know whether I would get accepted to a college or whether I was going to be able to afford college. One thing was for sure done, and is that I kept my high school GPA intact with a 4.0. In addition, I was first-generation going to college and I didn’t know what I needed to do to even apply for college. Thankfully, I did earn the trust of many people that guided me in that process in which many of them were teachers and staff members of my high school. I applied to all the schools that I thought I could get in. Around april, decisions came and I did get accepted to some good colleges such as UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, and UC Riverside. From these colleges now there were two questions: which one would I go to and how would I afford it? Well, thankfully I did receive money for filling out the Dream Act but that wasn’t enough for all the money that is needed to pay all expenses for college. And this is where my hard work pays off because I received the Bresee scholarship that would help me pay every year for my education at the college I choose to. Only last question: what college would I be attending in fall 2020? Well, I always saw myself going into UCLA and that is the college I chose. In fall 2020, I will start attending the university of UCLA. Unfortunately, it may not be as planned because the COVID-19 affected the education and life of people in many different ways. A historical moment that will forever be remembered. My dreams and goals don’t stop here though. 

My story will continue until I am at the place that I dream to be and I am not sure exactly what that place looks like but I know that, if I worked hard enough to finish high school and go to college I can now finish college. I am a first-generation Latina going into the University of California, Los Angeles pursuing a major in Economics and a minor in Chicana Studies looking forward to getting a career in which I could work to give back to my community. This is unbelievable because 4 years ago I wouldn’t think I would get where I am now. My dream of going to college came true and I learned that being a Latina makes me unique and makes me proud. I do not have to be at the same level of others because there is no such thing as level. My dream came true because I worked hard for it, I struggled for it, and I overcame the struggles that sometimes make me think of giving up but never did. I am proud of going to college even if sometimes it feels weird that I will be surrounded by many Americans but I know that I belong there because I didn’t work years for nothing. I work everyday with a purpose and a new goal to meet. The next chapter of my life will start in the fall of 2020 in UCLA and the story of my life is to be continued. 

 

 

 

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