Laminated index cards, color-coded and full of vocabulary, became part of my daily life.
As someone who loves to engage in a conversation, it was very hard to feel as if my tongue was cut off.
My low-income status was not a barrier but a launching pad to motivate and propel my success.
Through the successes of my efforts, I also realized that poverty was just a societal limitation. I was still flourishing in school, leading faith-based activities and taking an active role in community service.
Even more unimaginable was the thought that ice skating might become one of the most useful parts of my life.
Gates Millennium Scholarship Essays
I was born in Mexico to two Spanish speakers; thus, Spanish was my first language.
Only at the ice rink could I be myself; the feeling of the cold rink breeze embracing me, the ripping sound of blades touching the ice, even the occasional ice burning my skin as I fell—these were my few constants.
I did not need to worry about mispronouncing “axel” as “aksal.” Rather, I just needed to glide and deliver the jump.
I’ve seen that even as a high school student, I have so much potential to impact my family and beyond -- how one small act can go a long way.
With the financial stability that my part-time jobs provided my mother could stay home to raise seven children, my learning-disabled older sister could attend college, my younger sister could go on a mission trip to Korea, and my twin siblings could compete in national math competitions.