College: University at Albany
I was born in the Dominican Republic to a loving and humble family that has taught me to never lose hope and to always chase my dreams. My parents dream has always been for my brother and me to do better and to have opportunities they were never given. As there weren’t many opportunities in our homeland, my parents realized that they would have to have the strength to leave their family, friends and the world they knew to realize their dream. Chasing their dream, my family immigrated to the United States to pursue a better life full of possibilities.
Now, as a young adult, I have started to understand what my parents meant about persevering through adversity. Like my parents, chasing my dreams has not come without obstacles, struggles and hardships. Upon our arrival in the United States, my initial challenges were learning a new language and assimilating to a new culture. I was seven years old and thrust into a new life; everything was different in New York City, and this opportunity of a better life seemed even harder to accomplish in the United States than in the Dominican Republic.
I spent most of my first few years in the United States trying to understand, why my parents had uprooted our family and where were these opportunities my parents were chasing. It was when my brother and I started to thrive in school that I finally understood why my parents decided to immigrate to the United States; everything became clearer. They came so that my brother and I can receive a good education; as my parents saw a superb education as the gateway to social and economic mobility. My parents’ dream and the selfless sacrifices they have made to accomplish their dream is something that has deeply influenced me. Understanding their journey and realizing all of the opportunities I now have has developed a drive in me that makes me eager to learn more each day.
Currently, I am a rising sophomore at SUNY Albany, where I am enrolled as an Educational Opportunities Program student; a program that provides admission opportunities to students that would not be able to enter a SUNY school as a traditional student due to economic or academic disadvantages. I am pursuing a degree in Business Administration, because I want to be an organizational leader who is able to positively influence the lives of those around me through decisions based on analytical reasoning and empathy. I have been given tremendous opportunities, because numerous people have been generous with their time and energy to help me and I also want to give back to my community by improving access to support for struggling students by being a mentor to the next generation of immigrant/first-generation college students.
NYNY has helped expedite my educational and professional development by giving me exposure to professionals and role models with keen insights into what makes a strong leader. Every workshop truly inspires me to continue chasing my dreams; it confirms that I am on the right path to achieve my dreams and to not lose hope in one day reaching them. NYNY is an admirable program; it truly fuels the drive of many first generation students to continue striving each and every day to be the best individuals we can be.