Growing up with Latino parents definitely influenced my morals and shaped who I am today. As a child I always felt like I had to be perfect. I felt like my whole family was counting on me, and there just wasn’t any room for error. Knowing that my family sacrificed everything for my sister and I, is my source of strength and motivation.
Daniel Herreros '23 (BHSEC Queens)
from oppressive governments
They paint the picture,
the picture of
Is that reality?
Are we granted what they promised,
or is it a TRAP?
trapped again by
an oppressive government,
that calls you a thug for fighting for your rights
but fine people when you refuse to wear a mask.
The discrimination you face when you speak your native tongue;
"It's America speak English"
Is that Freedom?
False stereotypes promoted as if they were to be true,
targeted & harmed by the system meant to keep you safe,
Is this equality?
The picture painted is not the reality.
The things we escape to be trapped again by them.
It's an endless cycle that is blinded by the false image.
Sheyla Almanzar Abreu ‘24 (BHSEC Queens)
I am extremely proud to say that I am Puerto Rican. Although my family is lucky enough to not have to face the troubles of immigration, they have given up so much for us to be able to succeed. Knowing the constant system racism that Latinx people must face in America, I know that I must graduate school and get a job so I can complete the mission my mom was never able to.
Jayline Febles '22 (BHSEC Queens)
When my mom and my sister moved to the US from the Dominican Republic and my dad from Puerto Rico, they came for better opportunities. They got great educations here and always push me to do better than they believe they could ever. They also brought their culture, constantly reminding me to embrace all of the aspects of my identity- the fact that I am Dominican, New Yorkian, and Puerto Rican. My parents’ and sister’s inspiration and my being from these places make me who I am, and I can’t imagine myself otherwise.
Tanya Garcia '24 (BHSEC Queens)
Living in Mexico and NYC is like living in two distinct worlds. It often feels like Mexico and the US are at war with each other, and I am left in the middle having to choose between my two places of origin. However, I have learned that I don’t have to choose.
I feel empowered because I represent both the US and Mexico. I look back at the times where I felt like it was necessary to abandon my Mexican heritage and embrace the “American” culture, and I am glad I never continued with such an absurd mindset. I am not just Mexican. I am not just American. I am Mexican-American. Con orgullo!
Nicole Mendez '21 (BHSEC Queens)
My parents immigrated from Bangladesh to America when I was 1 year old. My parents immigrated for the sole purpose of providing a better future for me, their only daughter at the time. My mom got married at a very early age and had to stop her education. She wanted something better for me. My parents had to leave their parents, siblings, cousins, and everything that consisted of their old life. I can’t even imagine what my parents had to go through. They boarded that plane not knowing what the future held. They were coming to America which has drastically different cultures and lifestyles compared to that of Bangladesh. My dad came here and worked a really difficult job that paid an extremely low wage and my mom had to adapt to the language barrier and American culture. But they sacrificed for me. Last year, I visited Bangladesh after a really long time. At first, when I arrived in Bangladesh, I didn’t want to stay mostly because I wasn’t used to the way everything functioned. But after time gradually passed, I didn’t want to leave. As touching as some of the places in Bangladesh were, the most touching of all was the heartwarming goodbyes. The goodbyes questioning when you will get to see your family members again and not knowing what will happen to you or them. Seeing the people of Bangladesh and how hard they work to survive and make up for their own needs was truly devastating but I won’t forget the incomparable natural beauty and amazing food there. Just being able to see stars on an open night sky for the first time was breathtaking. My trip to Bangladesh felt as if I was living in a totally different world for those two months. However, it truly breaks my heart thinking how hard it must have been for my parents to leave everything and everyone behind and be willing to adapt to a new culture/surrounding in America to provide their daughter with the opportunities that they didn’t have.
Mst Nayma '21 (BHSEC Queens)
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