By Angie Sánchez
The education I received at the community college was great. The advisors and instructors were also phenomenal. Attending that college opened my eyes I learned many new things. I was also very proud of myself because I was enrolled in course with students that were not in mediocre level classes like I was in high school. In fact, some of the students were members of the National Honor Society. My grades in college were better than the ones in high school even though the work was more challenging. I was also working at the same time and it was challenging because I was working an average of 32 hours a week but I managed. I met a lot of cool people during my time there and I’m glad for that. I’m especially thankful for my advisor. She provided me with information that I had never been exposed to before. She provided the guidance that I needed and assistance that I needed.
The time came for me to transfer and I was ecstatic; I was finally ready to take the next step towards my education. There were always a few thoughts that ran trough my mind and those were: How am I going to get hired once I have my degree? Will I have my “papers” by the time I graduate? Am I willing to risk everything and use my real name and a fake SS#? These thought ran through my mind often and at times I asked myself if it was worth pursuing an education. Thankfully, the answer was yes! I refused to give up the opportunity to educate myself and serve as example to others like myself. More than anything I wanted to make my family proud, especially my dad and my grandma who are such great examples of courage and success.
I told my parents I was ready to move on to a higher institution and although they could not provide any assistance or guidance because of their lack of knowledge and education. They said to me one of the most encouraging phrases that a parent could offer they child, “Te apoyamos con todo lo que podamos y que Dios te bendiga” (We support you with as much as we can and God bless you). I knew my parents could not do more than that and I was fine, I knew that they were going to be there for me.
So I began looking at the different schools I wanted to transfer to and sent out my applications. I was accepted by the two schools I applied to. I was so proud of my self as well as my family. (I even laminated both letters of acceptance!) I chose to go to the school with the lowest tuition rates; since the other one was more expensive and offered a law program I figured I would attend that one for law school. As an immigrant and as an illegal, financial aid is not available; FAFSA is not available for undocumented students. I had to pay for school on my own since I began studying at the community college I went to and I took out a private loan to pay for the rest of my education once I transferred.
To be continued…