Freshman CAMP Students:
Martha A. Lopez
Dr. Lina Mendez
Research Analyst, UC Davis
Dr. Lina Mendez is a UC Davis Research analyst. She is a Latina who pursued higher education regardless of the obstacles she had to face while doing so. She was raised by her single mother and brothers. She was the first of her family to go on to college after high school and had no previous knowledge of what college would be like. Dr. Mendez struggled due to her limited English literacy; however, she still pursued her dreams. Today, Dr. Mendez is a role model for all young Latinas who want to pursue a higher education. Latina women are known for not getting a higher education, but Dr. Mendez has set an example, that we as Latinas are capable of pursuing higher education.
Through our interview I found that we had similar family backgrounds. Dr. Mendez and I come from a Latino migrant background. Both of our parents worked as farm workers and did not receive a full education. Instead, our parents worked hard to raise us and to give us a better life. Similar to Dr. Mendez, I was faced with many obstacles while growing up and often felt that life was testing my family to see how strong we were, and how well we handled different situations. These life experiences have proved to be priceless and have served as preparation for the real world. In addition, we were both raised with knowing that working in the fields and earning money to make a living is not easy. Since our parents did not attend college they did not know much of it, so often they would try to change our mind about moving off to college. They often would say how dangerous it would be and how we would not be able to afford it. Dr. Mendez is there to prove to us that anything is possible, regardless of the circumstances.
I believe that having a documentary on Latinas with migrant backgrounds would be a positive resource to students in elementary, high school and college because Latinas like myself, would have a role model to look up to. They will be the reason for more Latinas to go into higher education. If Latinas see that there are other Latinas who succeed in life, they will be encouraged to do so as well. Often times Latinas do not have the “apoyo” of their parents or siblings to continue on into higher education, so they give up on their lifelong dreams. They do not realize there are other people out there who are willing to help them pursue their goals and dreams. Having this documentary could not only encourage Latinas to pursue a higher education; it could give them a feel of what higher education is by seeing what these Latinas did in order to get where they are now. In fact, all these Latina women being interviewed will serve as role models for those who are starting their careers.
While reflecting on the interview conducted on Dr. Mendez I learned that pursuing a higher education as a Latina it is not easy, but it is possible. It is not easy to achieve all of one’s dreams, but with diligence and perseverance anything is possible. Sitting in on the interview with Dr. Mendez made me realize that often times we’re going to face obstacles, but one way or the other we have to learn to overcome them. Like Dr. Mendez said “Arriesgate and do everything you can in order to achieve what you want to do! Do what your heart tells you to because your heart will never lie to you”
I hope that this documentary makes a difference in young Latinas lives; it has made a difference in mine. Thanks to Dr. Mendez I learned to not give up on anything regardless of the situation.
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.