By Gaby Pacheco April 23, 2018
Fernanda, 20, born in Mexico, Scholar at Eastern Connecticut State University,
Home for me has never been a place. I am neither from here nor from there. Even though I was born in Mexico, I know little to nothing of life there. And I have never felt fully accepted or welcomed in America despite living here for over sixteen years. School has been the toughest and most rewarding part of this whole ordeal though. My parents always prioritized education, and because of that, I worked hard in school to get good grades even though I had no idea what it would lead to. My only “home” is my family. My small family of four has always been my rock. We made this whole transition together, and even though we still struggle with many problems today, we stick together. They are my reason to stay. I want my parent’s dream for us to come true. I want to become something of use to this world through education and hard work. Since the age of four, I have lived in Roberts, Idaho. It is a very different place than Mexico City, where both of my parents were raised. My mother grew up with fifteen siblings. Her family was always struggling to get by. Despite this, she was the first in her family to obtain a bachelor’s degree. My dad was raised by only his mother, having no father he was seen as the fatherly figure by his younger step-siblings. He too finished a bachelor’s degree in Mexico. Even though they both got a good education, they saw no reliable future for my brother and me in Mexico once they lost their jobs. As a result, they decided to “try things out” in Idaho where a small portion of my mom’s family lived. My parents started working in a potato warehouse sorting potatoes. My dad still works in one as a mechanic. Being the first to learn English in my family, I became the family translator. The adjustment to the cold was terrible. To this day I’m not a fan of Idaho’s winters. I’m majoring in Elementary Education and Math. I currently love volunteering each week at local elementary and middle schools. After obtaining my degree, I want to teach for non-profit programs or go abroad to teach in third-world countries. I want to help children in bad communities. Whether it’s third world countries or low-income neighborhoods, I want to teach the children that need more attention. DREAMers’ stories are unique. We strive to make a better world, despite often feeling isolated in our communities. Our struggle makes us resilient and determined individuals, which is what this world needs. We make goals that we work hard to accomplish. These goals aren’t necessarily ambitious, but more often humble. We want to become something for our parents, for our friends, for our communities, not for ourselves. Having been so isolated and alone, we
understand the importance of achieving our goals and don’t let opportunities go unappreciated. We come with good hopes and dreams. Our skills and knowledge will only benefit this country.