I immigrated to the United States when I was 6 years old, arriving in Chicago not knowing any English. We lived with my uncle for a couple of years because my mother had escaped violence and poverty in Mexico and our only family was my uncle.

I loved school because I learned so much, and because it was a chance for me to dream about doing great things one day without having to think about my own reality. The environment at home was unstable and books were an escape for me. I always excelled in school because I liked making my parents proud and was hopeful for a better future. Becoming the first person in my family to graduate high school was a big milestone for me, but I wanted to go further.

Applying to college was new, and realizing that I couldn’t afford college was a wall that I soon ran in to shortly after high school graduation. If Wallin Education Partners had not given me a scholarship, I would not be in college. They believed in me, and invested in my future. I’ve excelled in college and realized my calling is to be a doctor. I do breast cancer research at the University of Minnesota. I also work in a domestic violence shelter as an advocate for women and children. I’m in the process of creating a program for youth and leadership in partnership with Casa de Esperanza. I am the co-founder and co-president of First Generation Scholars League, a club created to channel resources and information to first generation students.

I’m a very busy person, but I am doing work that fulfills my soul. My theology professor was a great mentor in making me realize that something that energizes you is something that you should pursue as a vocation. Everything I am doing makes me excited, keeps me awake dreaming of how I can advance my community and the society I am part of to be influenced by justice and equality, and opportunities for others like me. I want to empower others to reach out for resources like the Wallin Education Partners program to follow their calling, to follow what energizes them.