When I was 5, my mom got pregnant with my younger sister. This meant she wasn’t going to be able to work anymore. My dad knew his income alone would not suffice for our family, so he unsuccessfully tried to find a new job. The situation in my Mexican hometown was getting worse by the day, and with heavy drug cartel violence, my parents found that coming to the United States would give them a lot more opportunities and help us live better lives. Our family filed for a visa multiple times; all attempts in vain as they were consistently rejected.
Four months after my mom gave birth to my sister, my parents put their lives at risk for the safety of my siblings and my own safety. When crossing to the United States, we were separated from my mom. I was only five years old, taking care of a four-month year old baby girl and a three-year-old boy. We were terribly mistreated in my mom’s absence, but my parents pain was far worse. I know and am fully aware of everything my parents had to endure to get us here. I don’t want all their struggles to go in vain. Being undocumented has greatly impacted my life, I have faced and continue to face many difficulties that no one understands. Growing up I lived with the fear of having to wake up every day not knowing whether I would be able to see my mother and father again. My parents, siblings and I only have each other here, and I know there is always a chance of us being separated.
My (s)heroes left all they had, and took such risks so that their children could have a future. After being here for so long, I have learned that many don’t understand what taking such a risk or sacrificing it all for your family looks like. My family is the reason I wake up every day and push myself to do my very best. One day, I will be successful and support my parents just like they have supported me all these years. They are my greatest motivation. Today I am 21 years old and getting ready to graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, one of the best universities in the nation. Through all the hardships I worked myself to exhaustion with the hope of being able to attain a scholarship to attend college. I will be applying to the school of Social Work in December with the dream of becoming a medical social worker in order to be able to provide families of lower income with better access to healthcare. I want to achieve all this and more not only for myself, but also for the two greatest human beings in my life, my parents.
-Rubi Franco Quiroz