At the young age of 3 years old, my mother left me in the capable hands of my grandmother so she could start making a life for me here in the states. I never really understood the sacrifice that it was for her to leave her only daughter and go alone to a country that she knew nothing about. That is until now, that I am an adult and understand her circumstances more than she knows. She came here on her own and made sure she had everything that I could ever need to start a life here. Things like a home, a stable job for herself, transportation, and even clothes. Not even a year later she sent for me at 4 years old. I came here with no knowledge of what to except for the one word of english that I did know and, that was “hello”.
When I arrived I was still dazed by the trip I had just embarked. All that uncertainty faded away when I finally saw my mother for the first time in months. All it took was a few seconds to brought it back because she didn’t recognize me until I was wrapped around her and holding her tight. She cried because of the joy of knowing that we were reunited and cried because it had been so long that she could barely recognize her own daughter. It was in that moment that I knew I was in for a long ride here in this new world that was completely foreign to me.
After only a few weeks of being in the United State, I had start school. This might be unthinkable for some but for that little girl that had her world flipped, it was a piece of cake. Even though I still didn’t know the language or customs of this country, I was determined to make my mom’s sacrifices worthwhile. My mom had a friend at work that volunteered to help me learn English and I will never be able to repay her for what she did for me. I mastered the English language in 3 short months, because of my age.
Later in elementary school, I remember being bullied because of my accent. I took it upon myself to talk and pronounce every word perfectly. When that was accomplished they stopped but only to start again in middle school because I wasn’t the best student in English or Social Studies because I didn’t understand it as well as others. When I noticed the mocking I studied longer and practiced harder so I would be able to pass with good grades all around but that didn’t happen until high school. When I was finally on the A B honor roll, the mocking started again. This time it was because I was too smart and my fellow hispanic classmates teased me saying things like “you act like a stuck up! Why are you in the smart people classes?” or “you’re a wannabe white person” all because I was in honor classes or in AP classes. That kind of mocking didn’t bother me so much because by that time I had stopped caring what others thought of me. All I cared about was making my mom proud. I graduated with honors and that is something that no one can take away from me.
Around the start of my senior year the DACA program was introduced and I was able to obtain my driving license while in high school and finally fit in as a normal teenager. I was able to get a job to start saving for college and the world didn’t seem so foreign anymore. I felt like I was finally being accepted by the society that raised me and honestly ,the only one I could remember.
Despite all the obstacles that I faced, I became the person that I wanted to be. That person was someone that my mom could be proud of. I started attending Durham Technical Community College and obtained my CNA certificate. I am still in school because goal is to be a nurse. Without DACA I would have never gotten to where I am today and unfortunately I have no idea if this door will be open much longer but I will not stop until I reach my goals.
-Alejandra Escobar Lopez