Study Abroad Has Been A Lifetime Dream Of Mine

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Getting the experience to study abroad has been a lifetime dream of mine. Growing up in Sunnyside,where the resources and educational opportunities are limited, I never would have imagined it would be possible to travel to another country. I’m a daughter of immigrant parents and because of their undocumented status, I’ve never had the opportunity to travel outside the United States without the fear or risk of never coming back to the place we call home. I come from a low income household and because of that I focus on providing for myself and my family.
Unlike most kids my age, I did not have the typical summer vacation. Even though the idea of sleeping in, enjoying the hot sun, and watching TV all day seemed desirable, I always knew that was not my reality. Every summer since the age of 7, I worked in the fields with my parents. I would wake up at 4 am, pack my lunch, and help my mom get my younger siblings ready for the day. To this day, my family and I pick various fruits from apples, cherries, pears, blueberries, and grapes in the scorching sun. As farmworkers, we know our job is only temporary during harvest, so my family and I work multiple jobs during the summer to ensure efficient income during the winter. Now that my sister is also attending college I try and work as much as I can so my parents can focus on helping her and my younger brother. This summer was the first time I went to school and worked two jobs in order to have money for fall quarter. Even though the Rome Enrichment Program is not a vacation, but rather an educational opportunity, I believe this would give me a break from work and textbooks to learn through a first-hand experience.
Being a farmworker from a young age made me become aware of the importan...

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...our small town, state, and even our country. The apartment complex my family lives in is only for families who have kids and work in the fields. When I do visit my family many of the children ask me a lot of questions about college, if it’s hard, what am I learning, and what do I do. I enjoy talking to the kids about my college experience because I hope it inspires them to go to college and experience life outside of a small town. To be able to share my experience in Rome with these children and my younger siblings would inspire them to continue going to school. When I do go back to Sunnyside, I enjoy talking to the kids in my community about my college experience. Without this opportunity I could financially afford to leave the country to experience another culture. I strive to be a good role model not only to my younger siblings, but to the children in my community.

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