I am Luis Romero. I was born and raised in Guatemala. After my dad passed away, I wanted to support my mom, and I decided to immigrate to the U.S. Honestly, what I wanted was to work and to make some money. As if money was all that matters in life.
Now I need you to do something for me, please. Imagine a large sign written in a language that you cannot understand, not even a single word. Imagine being surrounded by people speaking in another language and feeling the inability to communicate. Finally, imagine being in a place where those closest to you tell you that you have to live in hiding and have to have at least three jobs. How would you feel? Scared, Nervous, and Lost. Right! That’s how I felt when I came. That is how a lot of immigrants are still feeling after many years.
Due to some circumstances out of my control, I could not attend university in my hometown. At some point, I thought, “This is it, at least I finished high school in Guatemala.” I was wrong. Life is full of unexpected events and that was how I started school here.
Thank God, I found education, and I can assure you that education has given me more than I was expecting. Being able to communicate in a language that is not my first language is more than an achievement. It is a blessing. Now, I know that effort pays off.
It hasn’t been a one-man job, but more than that, a community’s job. A community that believed in me more than I did. This nonprofit group,, Upward Scholars, provided me with essential tools I needed to succeed academically. Some of them were books, a laptop, food vouchers, and a tutor to help me with my homework. I have taken different classes at Cañada and Skyline College and they have been wonderful. Creative Writing, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Spanish Literature are the ones that made me feel sure about getting my Associate degree in English and Spanish. I am halfway to my Associate degree and I have met people who graduated with the same circumstances. They are my role models. Now my medium-term goal is to attend San Francisco or San Jose State University. Eventually I would like to get a Ph.D. and teach.