In her own words

Leslie Alvarez

At first, pursuing a higher education wasn’t a choice but a need. Like most low-income and first-generation students, going to college is the only way for us to “break the cycle.” I was born in New Haven, Connecticut. New Haven is a sanctuary city, it was my Mexican family’s home away from home. However, at around the age of 6, there were raids conducted by ICE agents in my neighborhood. This scared my immigrant parents and brother, so we all moved back to Mexico. In Mexico, my parents had to pay for my education, but there came a time when they could no longer afford to do so. Thus, they decided that I had the luxury to be an American citizen, and they sent me back to the U.S. to pursue the American Dream. I lived with a relative, and I soon discovered that the only way I could remain in this country was to do well in school. I then fell in love with school; I fell in love with being educated. I am currently a Political Science and Sociology double-major with the intent of pursuing a minor in Urban & Community Studies. Through education, I found my passion. I want to advocate for marginalized individuals across America. I believe in diversity and inclusion, equality, and justice. I would like to work for a non-profit organization and then pursue a higher position related to race and diversity on a college campus. Every degree I obtain, every opportunity I encounter, is not only in commemoration of my parents, it is also a tribute to individuals like me. I hope it allows similar individuals to continue to beat the statistics that tend to follow minorities and encourage them to believe in themselves. It is a representation of defeating every statistic that follows me as a low-income, first-generation immigrant young woman.