In her own words

Brissa Gaona

As I sit and write, contemplating the many reasons why I have chosen to pursue a higher education, the only thing that comes to mind are my parents. I realize that for them, the American dream never meant fame, never meant riches, and never involved grandeur. Instead, their American dream was always that my siblings and I accomplished ours- whatever those were. So as I sit here, soon to graduate, I can only think of the ways I do all things in return for them. You see, like many first-generation students, I am the beautiful by-product of my parent’s sacrifices. I pursue a higher education because they couldn’t. Today, I sit approximately 1,700 miles away from my parents. I attend Colgate University where I am pursuing a Molecular Biology degree in hopes of one day using my knowledge to become a nurse practitioner in my home’s district. It is my dream to one day work hand-in-hand with the children of underrepresented and underserved communities. As a professional, I want to inspire children who sound and look like me and children who don’t, but yet struggle to find their way in this world. I want to serve as an example that dreams can be achieved even when circumstances don’t lend themselves to allow them to be. I am the daughter of immigrant parents. When I graduate, I want them to understand that my accomplishments are as much theirs as they are mine. That day, we will all break the glass ceiling that should have never been there. That day will be all but the first that a child of Mexican immigrants says “si se pudo.”

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