It has been nine years, but I remember like it was just yesterday. I migrated with my parents and three siblings from Oaxaca, Mexico to the United States trying to escape the violence of narcotic traffickers and the poverty that is prevalent in Latin America. Once in the United States, we lived in a small, uncomfortable garage. At night, I shared a mattress on the floor with my three siblings and my parents slept directly on the floor. Our financial needs forced my siblings to drop out of high school to work to pay our basic bills. Throughout my youth, my parents and I faced struggles because of our resident status. During my freshman year, my brother was deported. I can still see and feel my mother's tears on my shoulder as I tried to comfort her, a task that was impossible to do. When I learned to speak English in school, our lives improved because it allowed me to communicate and translate for my parents. We were able to get into a one room apartment because I could help my parents communicate enough to make an appointment and sign a lease.
I come from a dangerous neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles where every night you hear gunshots. My reality is too often watching my peers serve time in prison instead of graduating from high school. I face gang violence every day, I've seen gang members and innocent people get shot, and I have even been robbed by a mob of gangsters coming home from school. I can vividly remember one of the gang members pulling out a gun and pointing it at my forehead demanding me to give him everything I had. Afraid as I was, I gave him everything but he gave me something even more valuable, the resolve to work towards a better life for me and my family.
Being undocumented is an obstacle that I still haven't been able to overcome. While working on a community service project this summer, the supervisor rejected me because I was illegal, telling me that "people like me did not have the right to obtain an education in America". Knowing that I am undocumented makes me feel transparent, makes me feel insignificant. My parents, also undocumented, can't find decent jobs, they are exploited, working 12 hours a day at minimum wage. I want more! I want a chance to have a job that is a rewarding career, rather than a job whose sole goal is to provide for basic necessities. I want the opportunity to attend college and continue to law school and become an immigration lawyer. I know the road ahead will not be easy but armed with this education, I want to be able to prevent families like mine from being ripped apart and to help fight for the civil rights of other discriminated minorities. Learning English allowed me to help my family, college and law school would allow me to help so many more.
( I dont know if my first paragraph has any transition to my 2nd.)