Have you ever heard of something that’s born for a day and then dies that same day? When it comes to disadvantages in my life, I start thinking of the Mayfly. Now if you are not familiar with the Mayfly, it has the shortest-living adult life because adults live between thirty minutes to a couple of days depending on the species. And I know when I was born into poverty as a Hispanic female, my life expectancy although not that short as life, my spot in a society was already assigned; a poor Hispanic, divorced mom of five kids, living on welfare. I grew up living in roughly poor neighborhood where the apartments I lived in were nicknamed the courts. I came from a very old fashioned father whom has always thought of me as an average Hispanic young woman; pregnant at a young age, working at a restaurant, living off tips, and having a man to support her. Sadly to say, that was exactly how my mother had turned out to be. She got pregnant at a very young age and had my older brother, Thomas and as soon as my father heard the news about her being pregnant, he disappeared.
My mother struggled to raise my brother without a father and for months, she worried about when would be the next time my brother would eat or when was the next time they would have a roof over their head. She struggled horribly at first and there were times where she felt like giving up but she knew she had a responsibility to take care of the person she had brought into this world, my brother. Over the past years, she grew as a person and she moved on with her life. She got herself a job and started looking into going back to school. Before she had dropped out of school she had a lot going for her. She was an all around good tstudent until she of course got pregnst. Life was going great and had been living without a man for quite some time now. But as soon as she got the opportunity to give up, she did. She had a weak moment and she eventually met up with my father and they had my other older brother, me, and my sister. All I could ever wonder was what was going through her mind when she decided to go back to somebody as cruel as my father.
One day I asked her, “You were doing great without him, why would you go back?” She responded, “I needed him. I needed him to support me and your older brother Thomas.” So what was I supposed to think? That Hispanic young woman couldnt make it without a man in their life? That Hispanic woman were only made to reproduce? Or that we were made to give up on our dreams? It was unfair and I was not getting credit for all the things that I could accomplish. In my community, women, especially of color, were always judged and no matter what you accomplished, it was never good enough. I could beat out another team that was the opposite sex in an academic competition and yet, I’d get no respect out of it. It was like I was never able given the chance and opportunity to prove myself. Why does it have to be that way? Why can’t women, let alone, Hispanic women, be looked as dominant figures.
We were letting that image and theory of a pregnant, beat up, young, Hispanic young women, be proven right. Not on my watch. Getting into college would prove that I was not just a little Mexican girl from the hood as they’d call it. It would prove that I overcame that set image for me. Receiving The Bill Gates Millennium scholarship could only make my opportunities even bigger and better. It would prove that even if you come from poverty, you can still be somebody. It would prove that not just me, but any woman of color could make it, with or without a man. It is the twenty first century and we needed to start living it.