I was only five years old when my mom and I immigrated from Peru. Moving to a new country for my mom, after living most of her life in Peru, was very difficult, but she had my best interest in mind and hoped that better opportunities would arise.
Though the first couple of years were tough, my mom pushed me to be the best that I could be and to strive for the better life she had envisioned for us. Though I attended a failing middle school that wasted more time disciplining students than teaching a proper curriculum, I still did the best I could with what I had.
Years passed, and high school finally came along. The only problem was affording the tuition expenses for the school I wanted to attend. But my mom never gave up hope or told me no. She simply knew that she would have to work a little harder to keep pushing for the future we had always wanted. And I knew I had to work just as hard on my end.
I was determined, focused on my studies, and became a part of a community that led to the path I sought for myself. Though my mom had to work multiple jobs at a time to afford tuition at Saint Mary’s High School, she was also able to get help from the Corporate Tuition Tax Credit Program in Arizona. Because of this, I was able to receive the education I deserved at the school I wanted to attend. I was able to graduate with a 3.9 GPA, land in the top 10 of my class, and make my mom proud after all she had sacrificed for me.
Money should not be the biggest obstacle that a student must face in an attempt to attain a better education. It takes hard work and having the right opportunities to have access to great schools of our choice, and there is no doubt that the tax credit program was MY opportunity that helped me overcome the challenges I’ve faced today. Going to a school that challenged me, unlike the others before, opened so many doors for me.
After high school, I went on to attend a private Christian University where I began legal studies. A few years later, I joined the United States Army and was qualified as a Combat Medic. Now I attend Arizona State University where I plan to obtain a bachelors in Medical Studies and continue on to be a Medical Examiner.
Check out Nydia’s Op-Ed in American Magazine: https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2020/07/09/prayer-catholic-schools-facing-covid-19-pandemic