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Region III

Santa Rosa Junior College

I immigrated to the United States with my family from Mexico at age six. I was expected to learn a foreign language and culture in order to obtain a superior education than the one I was destined to have in Mexico. My father struggled to provide for his family working in the fields in Sonoma County. My father every day of the week would work multiple jobs to meet ends, and I rarely spent time with him. I still clearly remember my father struggling and my mother worrying about our future during the eight times we struggled to find a home we could afford. I also remember their desire to give us a better life. My parent’s struggles, in an unfamiliar country to give me an education and escape poverty, have propelled me to follow my dreams of becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner. I have firsthand knowledge of the struggles that immigrants experience in healthcare. At the age of 11, I became my mother’s medical translator after being unable to obtain a health provider who spoke Spanish. I lived with her for many years the difficulty of communicating properly with health professionals who spoke limited Spanish, although they were said to be bilingual health providers. This past Spring, with the support of EOPS I earned an Associates of Arts in Spanish and Humanities, both with high honors.

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