My Story
I was born and raised in Chinandega, Nicaragua!

Being born in Nicaragua, my native language is Spanish. When I came to the United States at the age of 7, learning English as a second language proved to be quite problematic. I grew up believing I was the 'stupid one' out of my siblings, and this shattered any academic confidence I had in myself.

Moving forward to high school, I saw college education as a realistic opportunity to finally escape the financial instability that has plagued my family throughout the years. My English saw great improvement, and towards my senior year, I slowly felt equal to my classmates. It was not all easy, however, as there had always been complications throughout my academic career.

When my mother and step-father separated in 2009, my mother was tasked with taking care of three adolescent children by herself. As a result, we changed homes yearly as the lease for that home would end. In total, I moved 7 times since first coming to the United States in 2nd grade. I was always the unknown kid in school, and participation to clubs became impossible. The order in which curriculum was taught for classes didn't always match up, too. Additionally, certain courses were taught in some schools but not in others.

Unfortunately, I did not see a way to fully overcome these adversities during high school. However, I worked roughly 28 hours a week since freshman year up until I graduated, and I used my money to ease the financial burden I was for my mother. After graduation, I saved up enough money to purchase my very own car, and effectively put an end to the transportation issue that relocation posed.

From this experience, I learned that there is great importance in being self-dependent and self-sustaining. Though there is nothing wrong with having someone to depend on, I believe that life's harshest conditions cultivate the most resilient people. I’m glad that I struggled the way I did in my youth because it prepared me for the even harsher environment that accompanies adulthood.

As an undocumented immigrant, I did not qualify for in-state tuition, Federal Financial Aid, and Student Loans in North Carolina, despite continually residing in NC for the past 13 years. The only option I saw at the time was to take a year-long break off school and work full-time to save up for college, then study a two-year career while working full-time. I’ve done exactly this and chose Rowan-Cabarrus because of the school's proximity to my home.

When I started college at Rowan-Cabarrus in the Fall of 2018, I believed that the highest education I could achieve was an associate’s degree - just enough to break my family away from financial instability. Since then, I've accomplished things I never would've dreamed of, such as making the President's List every single semester, graduating with a 4.0 GPA, building a website for a non-profit, running for Student Government, participating in a photo-shoot, being in promotional material for Rowan-Cabarrus, and building Web APIs for Rowan-Cabarrus as an intern.

I considered transferring to a four-year university upon receiving the Golden Door Scholarship - a scholarship that covers tuition, room, and board up to a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, I was blessed with receiving another full-ride scholarship - TheDream.Us. With these two scholarships, I aim to graduate from Eastern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor's in Computer Science and Mathematics - with a concentration in Data Science. The entire college academic process has left me dumbfounded, and I'm continually baffled at how I went from thinking I was an idiot among my peers to a first-gen college student and scholar on his way to earn a bachelor’s degree.

To be totally frank, I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing here. I'm taking it one step a time and trying my best. The road has never been laid out before me, but I am doing my best to navigate through the right path.