In 1999, my parents left Mexico for the United States in search of a more promising future for their newly started family. I was 3 years old at the time, the only child of two undocumented immigrants.
Because I too entered the United States without proper documentation, I was and am now an undocumented resident of the United States.
I have two younger siblings that were born in the United States granting them American citizenship by birth right.
I was first told that higher education would be unachievable when I was in elementary school. At the time, I didn't understand. It wasn’t until high school when I fully understood what my undocumented status meant about my possibility of going to college.
I would not have access to federal aid, in-state tuition, or any sort of public financial aid. Some colleges didn’t even accept applications from undocumented students.
Thankfully, I discovered an opportunity that allowed me to overcome this massive hurdle and now I am the first in my family to graduate from college.
In 2012, Red Ventures CEO, Ric Elias began the Golden Door Scholars (GDS) program and I was a fortunate beneficiary a private scholarship, selected from a pool of over 500 applicants in my similar undocumented status situation. Only 13 of the entire applicant pool were granted the scholarship. I received a full ride scholarship to a university of my choice.
At that point, being a first generation college student in my family, the first in the United States to graduate high school with above average grades, the first to have a list of scholarly awards in my primary education, and with a full ride ahead of him, I felt like everything was working out for me to become a person of great importance to the world.
Here, unknowingly, I categorized myself as a Great Man (Carlyle).