I Want to Give Back to My Latino Community with My Academic Knowledge and Research

644 Words3 Pages
I was born in Inglewood, CA son of two immigrant parents. As a young boy, I always knew the importance of education, it was engrained in me by my mother and father. They both grew up in Mexico where they both loved school until their economic hardships forced them to come to the U.S. and work. I was the first generation in my family to go to college and will be the first to pursue a graduate degree. The passion of education that my parents instilled as well as my cultural values drive me to pursue a Ph.D. I want to be able to give back to my community; I hope to fulfill this by conducting research in underrepresented populations, like the Latino population. When I first came to college, I did not have a solid idea of what the experience would be like, but I was excited for this new chapter in my life. I enrolled in courses I though I would excel in but a couple of weeks into the quarter, I felt unprepared for the fast-paced courses that I seemed to be struggling in but that my peers seem to of been excelling in. Early on this cause me some hardships suddenly I did not feel that I was as smart or accomplished as they were. As a result of this my grades in my courses suffered early on. As time progressed, I became friends with a group of people who were also in my similar situation, they were first-generation college students, students, this great support network of students allowed me to gain more confidence in my academic ability and with the help of my lab work, I began to see that I could excel in college. The same feelings of not belonging were mirrored again when I first joined the Social and Emotional Development Lab, it was not that it was not a friendly environment. The people in the lab were warm and welcoming. I knew th... ... middle of paper ... ... the Latino population and made large conclusions about educational outcomes by not fully teasing out the cultural implication. Although it is not necessary for someone from the same ethnic background to conduct research on his or her own community, I do find it to be an asset when it is done. Being a part of the Latino community, I feel that the research with my community as well as other diverse groups is lacking, and my cultural competency is an asset. Being a part of that community really informs the research questions I would like to answer. A Ph.D. will allow me to work in research firms conducting research and advising research studies that deal with a multi cultural and socioeconomic diverse group of people. In my own way, I hope to give back to not only the Latino population but also any underrepresented group by bringing relevant research to the forefront.

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