I was raised in the rough parts of Harris County, Houston, where the population is heavily Hispanic, and people spend more than half of their lives at washeterias in place of their own homes. In my parts of “the hood”, there are too few people with privilege and too many days without electricity and heat. Yet, I am not ashamed of where I come from. I am not ashamed when Spanish slips my tongue, when I give my parents twenty dollars for gas, or when I break open another piggy bank to pay for a gallon of water. I am not ashamed because enough is all I have ever had and is all that has brought me to where I am today.
I am often reminded of the countless financial strains I have somehow managed to overcome but even so, I cannot say that there were never times in which my hope hindered and my fears fortified. In 2017, my neighborhood and my city were damaged further than I had ever deemed possible with Hurricane Harvey. After being pushed onto a rescue boat and tossed from shelter to shelter, a stranger was kind enough to take me, my younger brother, and other families into their wealthy, yet humble home. There, the days were long and the food supply was rationed, yet not a single person hesitated to offer however little they had. In this home, I met many beautiful families who took turns sharing stories of their crushed dreams and unfortunate financial situations. Those moments proved to be pivotal in my life as I realized how undeniably rich I am in regards to community. Being raised in a rough part of town, I knew few people of my ethnicity who were financially stable enough; in fact, most Hispanics in my area suffered as their homes, like mine, were torn apart. Though grateful for this stranger who had taken me in, the fact that they were wealthy and not a minority tugged at my heart. After being in that home for weeks, listening to everyone’s experiences, I was overcome by an unstoppable urge to change the current path of inequality Harris County was seeing. I remember thinking, “I want to do that too, I want to grow and have the means to help others just like them.” I want to live and prosper with the intent to give back to the community that raised me. With this newfound motivation in mind, I set out to build upon my educational aspirations that I knew could push me along a path towards potential philanthropy and benevolence.
Thus, after years of tribulation and sometimes feeling excluded as a result of my ethnicity, experience, and values, I have made it a point to advocate for the end of division within the society that surrounds me. To me, diversity means believing and understanding that the possibilities are endless, and that everyone’s experience is distinct. These differences range across a large spectrum, never excluding a single ideology whether it be one’s dimensions of gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs, and more. For this reason, I believe that diversity represents a primary contributor to a progressive, innovative, and creative setting which every society should maintain. I hope that because of my experiences, I can even help foster the opportunity to learn and facilitate interdependence of the natural environment at any educational institute I attend. It is essential that any and every community is diverse; this aspect not only eliminates ignorance and homogeneity, but also encourages and ensures assimilation of varying beliefs, ideas, and opinions, and moves us closer to a equal society. As a student, I will continue to teach and spread this progressive belief with the intent to build a foundation of comfort and inclusion within the community. My desire is to encourage students to understand one another and thrive off of the developing interconnectedness; every student has had their share of personal struggles and I only wish that being vulnerable and open with each other will aid in motivating them to become the best version of themselves and thus, engage in humanitarianism and generosity as I now seek to accomplish. Now, with the many resources I am provided by my status as a University student, my ambitions will have moved a step forward towards the ultimate success.