I was born in Phoenix, but when I was three years old, we moved to Mexico and I lived there for seven years. I grew up there in a very small town, and then we moved to Oklahoma when I was about 12.
I grew up speaking Spanish as my first language. Moving to Oklahoma was challenging because, not only was I in a different country, but I had to learn a new language. I was very scared to go to public middle school without speaking English. I knew I would probably be bullied. I started to push myself and I was able to learn English quickly.
When I was in middle school there were posters and commercials everywhere for Cristo Rey OKC. I was annoyed by it at first! When the commercials came on the TV and radio, I would change the channel. Even in church we heard about Cristo Rey and my mom wanted to check it out.
“I know that by the time I graduate I’m going to be 100 percent prepared to walk into college.”
We filled out an online form which I didn’t put any effort into because I didn’t want to go there, but the next day we got a call asking us to come in for a meeting. When I met with the Cristo Rey counselor and learned more about the school, I got excited about it. I almost left my first visit to Cristo Rey crying because I regretted my decision not to put more effort into the online form. Luckily, it all worked out and I was accepted.
Most public schools make you think some about college, but Cristo Rey is truly focused on it. Even though I’m just a freshman, I know that by the time I graduate I’m going to be 100 percent prepared to walk into college.
I think the Corporate Work Study Program and the professionalism that it emphasizes is a game changer. Everything they’ve taught me I use in my daily life. I’ve always wanted to be a veterinarian and that hasn’t changed, but working in an office has changed my preconception of what that would be like. I never thought I would enjoy it but learning more about business changed my opinions about those jobs.
My start in life has been humble living with my brothers and my mom who is a single mother. College is really expensive and I know that without the Equal Opportunity Scholarship program and the other opportunities I have been given, going to school here might have been out of reach for me. I feel like a lot of people drop out of high school because of low resources. That impacts everyone in the community. I wish that more people could have the scholarship opportunities that I have had.