Born and raised along the Texas-Mexico border, I love the Rio Grande Valley. Here, everything feels so familiar, from the heat to the music to the aroma of delicious food in the many authentic Mexican restaurants that dot my community.
Being a leader is something I am accustomed to—my second nature, my identity. I love school, and since I began attending IDEA Edinburg, I have realized the many opportunities there are for each of us to be our best and lead by example. As a student at IDEA, I got to chart my own path. I was a member of the National Honor Society for three years and was on the volleyball team. As a student, IDEA gave me the opportunity to become the best version of myself. I gained more confidence and was introduced to a wealth of opportunities like college field lessons at major universities around the country and summer learning experiences.
One summer, I attended an entrepreneurship summer camp and was excited because someday I hope to own my own marketing firm. However, my excitement soon faded because of a rude comment from a boy in the program.
“Do you honestly believe you can make it in a career in business, you’re just a girl!” he said. His cruel and ignorant comment sent chills down my spine. ‘Don’t be rude stay calm’, a small voice murmured in the back of my mind and without a second thought, I replied “Yes, I do.” The boy snickered and turned away without a second glance and turned to his friend, clearly still mocking and belittling me. I felt frustrated and annoyed, so I took a deep breath and focused my attention on what the camp director was saying.
Initiative is often underestimated, since many people wait for opportunity instead of going out of their way to find it. While the boy’s comment did perplex me at first, I was determined to do my best and prove to everyone that race, gender, or where you come from should not be a variable in deciding what you want to accomplish in life.
As part of our camp project, I worked tirelessly to start my own wireless headphone company named Tun3rs. I thought about what would help my businesses stand out from others, and on the last day of the camp, I pitched my idea to three talented entrepreneurs who would ultimately choose who had the best idea. During my presentation, I included my business marketing ideas, manufacturing prices, and even my business’s location. The judges seemed very impressed with these details, since many others had disregarded them. In the end, I was selected as the winner and congratulated by the judges and entrepreneurs on my wonderful presentation.
I realized then that hard work and education was my ticket to achieving my dreams. Even if I am underestimated, I will not let others’ biases and perceptions stop me from becoming a successful business woman.
I was recently selected as one of 20 students in the United States to receive The Dream US scholarship. rigorous application review process that includes analysis and scoring of your grades, standardized test scores, participation in advanced courses, extracurricular activities including volunteer work and community service and essays. An independent Scholarship Selection Committee made up of national education leaders, leaders of immigration support services organizations, and DREAMers reviews and scores the essays of all finalists.
This scholarship will not only pay for my education, but also assist me with books, transportation, room and board and so much more. I know that this generous scholarship will help me reach my potential by not only providing funding to go to a university, but also providing assistance throughout four critical years in the next chapter of my education.
This fall, I will be attending the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and plan on being the first college graduate in my family. However, the two biggest lessons I have learned during my time at IDEA are that anything is possible through hard work and dedication, and never underestimate your potential for success.