This I Believe

Alondra - Reseda, California
Entered on May 26, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: immigrant, work

Growing up was very hard for me because I was an immigrant who didn’t speak the language or understood the ways of the American culture. I came to the United States when I was five years old with my mother, and yes I did have to cross the boarder illegally. I’m not proud of that but thanks to that I was able to get to where I’m at now.

When I was in the ninth grade I didn’t really have a lot of friends, but that didn’t matter because I knew that school was more important than friends. I wasn’t popular with my classmates, but I was very popular with my teachers and that was all that mattered to me. I would always say I don’t go to school to impress anybody; I go to school to impress my teachers and for that all I need is my brain. My teachers and I were very close because they understood my situating and knew that I wasn’t like the other students. They had high expectations and knew that I would get into a good school, but little did they know that college was not something that was in my plans at that time because of my legal status. I hated not being legal because I knew that with out papers I couldn’t go to school, and even if I could school was very expensive, so the next thing to school was marriage.

Although marriage was the next option I didn’t want to get marry at such a young age, but then I met some one in the 11th grade and we started to date. Things were so great and then a law came along that said that immigrants who crossed the boarder illegally could pay a fine and stay in the country while their residency was approved. MY boyfriend and I then decided to get married because we knew that was the only way for me to continue in school. So we got married and waited, and waited, until my legal status was resolved. It took me five years to get my papers and to get back in school. It was a long time but it’s never to late for school. I was an as and Bs students so when I found out I couldn’t go to school I was very disappointed, but I had faith that things would work out for me and they did. I am now finishing my B.A. at CSUN and will help and try to motivate other Latinas who think school is impossible.