Student Highlight: Impact Beyond Borders

Many immigrant children want to make their parents proud and show them that their sacrifice to establish a home in a new land was worth it, including Luis, who is in his high school’s Super Grad program and engaged in support from the Fulfillment Fund.

“I am the son of a Mexican family that has been living in California for about 16 years. They have sacrificed a lot for me and my siblings to have a better life and an education,” he shares. “I always try my best to not disappoint my parents and make them proud.”

During his 9th through 11th grades in high school, Luis received college advisement through our in-classroom lessons, and, back then, the prospect of navigating college entry, let alone paying for college, was daunting. With our support, his perceptions began to change. He still reflects on the class we gave about how to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

When I graduate college, I will dedicate it to my parents.

During his senior year, we knew how important it was for him to go to college and how overcoming the challenge of seeking financial aid would factor heavily in his ability to attend. Through our one-on-one counseling sessions, we were able to help him complete his FAFSA and find financial aid from a variety of sources. He also earned a Fulfillment Fund scholarship. Without this help, he shared that he would not have been able to pursue a four-year university.

Luis is a talented young man with a bright future ahead of him. He dreams of one day becoming a teacher and is proud of being bilingual, sharing his skills and passion to help others. When he has the opportunity to visit his parent’s hometown of Oaxaca, he spends most of his time teaching his cousin and other local kids English, and sometimes even helps them with writing in Spanish. Thanks to his support, his cousin became an English teacher herself. “Now, the [local] school has an English teacher in the community,” he says proudly.

Luis is following his dreams and in his second year at Cal State Northridge. He is also on track to obtain his degree in liberal studies in just three years. Luis is making his family proud as a first-generation college student.

My background and watching my parents work hard has allowed me to develop different skills and talents, one in particular, is being bilingual.

STORY UPDATE: Luis is in his second year at CSUN. He is now a Photography/Film major and also does photography for fun. He’s hoping to be able to photograph places from all around the world. He is doing well in his classes.

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