Today, I am able to apply for graduation, I will be the first guy in my entire family history to graduate from one of the Universities of California. As I look back to think about my educational path, I think about all the people that have helped me along the way and the hardship I had to endure. Growing up with a single undocumented mother, who never received anything beyond a 9th grade education, would not discourage me for my love for education, but the circumstances that I couldn’t control would be a barrier to achieving it. I remember starting my first job as a busboy and staying there for years; I felt angry and stuck, thinking that’s all I could ever do, cleaning up people's garbage and sweeping the floor. Seeing all the big engineers, software developers, and affluent tech heads from the Valley there every weekend made me feel inferior, and soon, the pressure would leave me with a “D” in my Jr year of high school, I didn’t think much about it; However, senior year would come by and I submitted my first application, there was an error, that “D” that I received in English would prevent me from applying to a single school. Here I was , jealous of every person that was getting into big name schools (or any school for that matter). I didn’t sit there this time, I thought about all the teachers that put an effort to get me this far, and made a plan to go to my local community college. As I searched, I found there was a program by the name of the Puente program, designed for first generation students, there I would learn how to get to my college of choice and it would reshape the way I thought about the community college system (its own post). Two years would go by fast, an education would change the way I learned, spoke, and saw the world, I would be applying to schools that I would have never imaged during my senior year of high school -- an acceptance to 7 ½ schools(that ½ is a waitlist to Berkeley ). Every acceptance seemed surreal, I would be leaving my city, San Jose, for the first time. That day that I left seems like it was a few hours ago, because two years have gone by again, and so many things have changed about how I see the world, the educational system ( its own post), and myself. I am grateful to recognize the opportunities I have been given and people I can look up to in all the fields I am interested in, whether that be Gary Vee for his entrepreneurship, Elon Musk for his work with green technology field (and flamethrowers), Casey Neistat for his artistic work. I am thankful for the advocates and all allies, who saw problems with an education system, and fought for my right to get this far. But above all things, I am indebted to all the educators that have pushed me this far, especially the amazing Womxn of color, like my mentors, Lydia Hearn and Alicia Cortez, who didn’t see me as a burden to society, a low-income student, or a child from a broken home, instead they saw the true power of my creativity and plotted me a map to follow . I’m going back to my city to show that I am a positive product of my environment. I am ecstatic about my future achievements, but I am more excited to fall flat on my face from a failure and get back up, only better, faster, and wiser.