CATALINO TAPIA SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION
Like many other Hispanic families, my parents migrated young to the United States in search of a new life and better opportunities. Having no real chance to pursue what they wanted to achieve in Mexico, they made the difficult decision of leaving everything and everyone they knew behind. As they settled in their new adventure, my parents began to have kids and had a total of five children in this country. Later on, tired of what the risk of being undocumented in this country meant, they attempted to get their green cards. Sadly, things didn't go as we expected them to and their effort to become legal was unsuccessful. Before they were deported, my parents decided to leave the country voluntarily and return to their country of birth.
This period of transition was not easy for anyone. From having a comfortable and safe home, we went to having to live in my uncles and aunt's houses and constantly having to move. Once my father found a job and a place for us to live, we settled in and adapted to our new reality. However, as time went by, the realization that college was not something my parents could afford hit my older sister who chose to move back to the United States and so did the rest of my siblings as they graduated from High School. Then it was my turn. Leaving was the last thing I wanted to do, but it was necessary. Mexico offered me safety -being my parents- and comfort but staying did not help me progress in any way. My country had outstanding universities, but pursuing a career there seemed impossible for my family's economic status. Thus, with certainty, my mind was set. I was sixteen years old and out of my home. It’s important to mention that by this time, I had forgotten almost completely English. As a result of my decision, I had to adapt to a new language, school, people, and to live without my parents. Having to learn English all over again was a constant struggle. Even today, after 3 years of living in the United States, I would not consider myself completely fluent and comfortable with my speech.
Because of my parents' sacrifices and the story of their struggle, I have learned to fight for what I want and to not give up. Additionally, as someone who has had the opportunity to live and study in both Mexico and the U.S., I have learned to greatly appreciate the resources and opportunities offered here in the states. The goal I plan to achieve through education is to become a registered nurse, for which I want to attend De Anza College. Even though I have been accepted to some CSU’s, I believe in the benefits of Community College and its advantages. After Community College, I hope to transfer to a four-year college like San Francisco University or UCLA.
On March 20th of this year, after almost 13 years of living in Mexico and trying and trying to get their green cards, my dad returns to the place he once called home with five of his children and a niece, while my mother has her interview appointment on April 13th. Our economic situation isn’t the best since seven people live in a one-bedroom apartment supported mainly by my older sister’s income, but we do the best with what we have. With this scholarship, I would not have to worry about getting a job urgently to get a computer and would have more time to focus on my assignments.