washington trip

“I was on a leadership team in 5th grade. At the end of the year we were supposed to take a trip to Washington DC. We held fundraisers and everything. But when it was time to go, I didn’t have the identification papers to buy a plane ticket. So our teacher Ms. Rivera decided that we’d take a bus. Just so I could go too. That trip changed my life. It made me want to be a lawyer. And Ms. Rivera became one of the closest people in my life. She always kept in touch. She basically watched me grow up. One time in high school I got in a huge fight with my mom, and Ms. Rivera came and took me on a long car ride. I started to tell her everything. I told her about a recent break-up, and how I smoked weed, and ‘I did this,’ and ‘I did that.’ She just listened to everything. Then she started telling me about her life too. She told me that she’d been in an abusive relationship. I’d always thought her life was perfect because she was a guidance counselor. But she’d been through so much too. When it was came time to apply for college, Ms. Rivera was the one who helped me apply for DACA. She told me about the TheDream.us scholarship. I didn’t even want to apply. I was ready to give up. I’d just accepted that I’d always work in restaurants like my mom. But Ms. Rivera made me apply. She said: ‘What happened to that girl who wanted to be a lawyer?’ I learned that I got the scholarship in February. They’re paying for my entire college. Ms. Rivera was so proud of me. She kept saying: ‘I told you so.’”