Joaida S.

Joaida S.

Mission, TX

Illegal. A disturbance. A thief. Abomination. Would you use these words to describe a 16 yr old girl? Like many others, my mother brought my older sister and I from Zihuatanejo, Mexico into this country when we were tiny to escape my abusive father and to have a better life so we settled in Huntsville, Alabama. During our time there, she fell In love with my stepdad, who was born in California & whom I actually call Dad since he raised me, because they both worked in the same factory. They moved in together and 3 years later, my parents decided to move our family to South Texas since that’s where my stepdad’s family was located. In elementary school, I was always the smart, curious little girl who exceeded in her grades and everything else she did. In middle school, I was higly involved in extracurricular activities, such as UIL,Theatre and National Jr. Honor Society, I joined 2 different math teams, and I even took summer engineering classes at the University of Texas- Pan American, but I was one to be looked after cause I was serious competition to other’s academic achievements. When I reached high school, my grades soared high, my involvement with extracurricular activities increased, expanding to HOSA & Business Professionals of America and in my sophomore year, I got inducted into National Honor Society. I even got into sports! I joined my wrestling team (thanks to my older sister who was on the team & persuaded me to join) in my freshman year which no one believe cause I am 4’8 but wrestle at the smallest weight class: 95lbs. Sophomore year, I became distract champ, placed 3rd at Regionals, qualified once again for state, and caught college attention. My older sister was the first person to graduate high school from my mom’s side of the family. Even better, she graduated #16 in her class with multiple honors. But going to college was a dream that seemed to far away for her as she wasn’t documented either. Thankfully she obtained her work permit just a week before graduation. Even though college deadlines were closed, her dream of actually getting a higher education lived but was just delayed a few months. She will now be attending a university starting this fall and majoring in Chemistry. As for me, we’re working on my case. My college recruiters, both academically and for wrestling, my friends and fellow classmates suspect that the smart, 4’8, loud, Asian-looking, 16 yr old girl is ‘not supposed to be here.’ I have only told two people about my situation: my best friend & my boyfriend. They understand me even though they’re ‘actual’ Americans. I have kept it a secret because people are cruel, judgmental and I don’t like drawing attention to myself. Not because I am ashamed but because I wanna show doubters that I can do it too. I want to attend Vanderbilt University or University of North Texas. If a person asks me if I am American, I’ll proudly say I am because America’s all about dreams and it was my mom’s dream for my sister and I to have a better life than she did.

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