By Maricruz Cabrera, Coachella Unincorporated
Soon I will embark on a journey similar to the one taken by my parents and many other individuals that leave their home, family, and familiar sights behind to follow the path toward their American Dream. Like my parents, I will surround myself with a culture and city I have only heard and read about and will work hard to achieve my goals.
On December 1, 2011, I received an email informing me I had received a full scholarship through the Questbridge program. This program links the world’s top low-income students with America’s best universities such as Yale, Columbia, USC and Stanford.
I was admitted to one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges, Wellesley College in Massachusetts, with a full scholarship. Never in my 11 years living in the United States did I ever imagine that an opportunity like this would be bestowed upon me. Looking back now, it all seems like a blur. I can’t remember what I thought while going through the application process; it seems as if all the stress and frustration I felt was lifted off when I received the news.
I do remember, however, sitting at the dinner table on Halloween night with my laptop in front of me. My eyes filled with tears of frustration as I filled out financial aid forms such as the CSS Profile. My family was there, immediately concerned with my state of being, asking if someone had done something to me. All I could do was cry more, and say that I was just stressed out.
I was very thankful that my counselor, Mr. Barboza, and my teachers, Doris Vaglienty and Cecilia Guevara, willingly took the time to recommend me. But it was my sister, Julieta, who was by my side throughout entire process, sitting next to me and helping me fill out those frustrating financial aid forms.
I am very grateful for this opportunity. I used to think that opportunities were limited here in the Eastern Coachella Valley, but now I realize it’s a matter of looking and investing all you have in order to get the best possible outcome. All of us in the Eastern Coachella Valley need to realize that even though a dream may seem like a distant reality, it can be realized. You just have to be ready for whatever comes your way, and be ready to work hard toward your dream.