In her own words

Belky Hernandez

I am a Dreamer

“I’m going to St. Olaf!” I exclaimed to my mother. “That’s great, sweetie, but are you sure we can afford it?” My mother asked. “You know the federal government won’t even let you take out a loan from them.” I sighed. She was right. How was I ever going to afford a school who’s total cost came to $62,000 when my mother, single with three children, made less than half of that annually, and I couldn’t even borrow money because I was a DACA recipient? “Eres una soñadora hija,” you’re a dreamer, my mother would always say with a solemn look. Though my parents’ fear that I would be disappointed with the harsh reality of our financial and legal situation was legitimate, I just wouldn’t lose my fighting spirit. I had dreams—bigger than they imagined—and I was going to show them that it was possible to achieve them.

To everyone’s surprise I was able to enroll at St. Olaf through a combination of scholarships, loans, St. Olaf’s generous grants, and my own savings. With this incredible opportunity, I plan on double majoring in Philosophy and Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience, and henceforth go to law school to earn my J.D. Thereafter, I plan on passing the Minnesota bar exam to become what I’d always dreamed of—and what my parents always doubted—a lawyer. Upon seeing that I am one step closer to my dreams, and despite knowing that the road is long, my parents—along with my entire family—have begun to see the dreamers in themselves.

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