Freshman CAMP Students:
Administrative Assistant,Partnership for Early Access for Kids (P.E.A.K)
During the interview, we as “Latinas” found a lot of things in common with Erika Alatorre. She is a student counselor at P.E.A.K (Partnership for Early Access for Kids). She attended college because she wanted a better life for her children, and she did not want to face the same struggles confronted by her parents. We found that we are in college for the same reasons. We understand that a higher education that will open many doors for us. Another thing that we found in common was our family background. We come from Spanish speaking families who have worked in agriculture most of their lives. Ms. Alatorre stated that she was the first one in her family to attend college. Our lives are similar in that we are the first generation in our families to attend college. Additionally, we gained a lot of freedom and became more responsible when we came to college because we have to live by ourselves and make our own decisions in order to succeed. Lastly, Ms. Alatorre was also a C.A.M.P. student. Similarly, she also benefited by the program the same way we have because we received a lot of assistance to help us remain in college.
I believe, that by having a documentary on Latinas with a migrant background more females will be encouraged to go to college and show that the percentage of Latinas that are going to college is increasing. These documentaries make a positive contribution on Latinas who are in high school. During, high school is when Latinas decide what they are going to do with their lives. This information can inform them that anybody can obtain a college degree no matter one’s background or ethnicity. It would help them realize that if other Latinas can succeed in life, they can do it too. It will show that education is for everyone and not just for males. These interviews can prove to parents that the idea of females staying at home and taking care of the household is not the only choice and that Latinas now have the opportunity to obtain a higher education. I strongly suggest that there should also be interviews about Latino men who have attended college and earned degrees because the percentage of Latino men who attend college is decreasing. This may be because there are more Latino men who join the military or go to jail than the ones who go to college. Interviewing alumni Latino men can encourage Latinos to go to college and break the stereotype that Latinos just cause problems in society by joining gangs, or that Latinos only work in the low paying jobs. Latinas should begin to think about breaking this stereo type by paring the way.
I learned a lot from this interview. There are a lot of sacrifices that a person has to make when they decide to attend college and achieve their dreams, such as leaving the family, facing discrimination and sometimes language obstacles. Latinas are not as prepared like wealthy, privileged people that leave their families and attend college. It is more of a struggle for Latinas, especially migrant students, to leave our homes and live by ourselves. I understand that Latinas face discrimination. There are people who believe that Latinas are not supposed to succeed in life and that Latinas should be segregated from the educated class by only working in the agriculture and other jobs with low salaries. I learned something very special from this experience. I learned that although Latinas are not the most accepted when it comes to succeeding in life, we are very unique. Our families enrich us with important values that we carry with us every day in our lives. One of them is our values such as dignity, honor, respect, and most importantly the will to fight for our desires. We may not be the most privileged to succeed, but we certainly have what it takes to reach our goals. It is up to us to decide whether we will sit back and let society decide who we are, or stand up, create our own path, and make our own decisions.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, official policy, or position of KVIE.