Esmeralda Saldaña

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Although I reside in one of the poorest cities of the United States, my community offers my family and I a rich culture with a strong sense of unity. I have to admit that some of the city's landscape may be unpleasant, but Brownsville, Texas definitely feels like HOME.

Throughout my lifetime, I never lived in a stable house because my mother’s salary was significantly limited. I remember there were days spent with no food on the table, but with my mother’s continued efforts and sacrifice she was able to provide everything for my sisters and I. My mother is truly a blessing and because of her I am the person I am today. Seeing her struggle and live through difficult circumstances, helped shape me and motivates me to strive harder in my education. My academic efforts are a tribute to my Mother!

I come from a family of four: two older sisters, my mother, and I. I’ve grown without a father figure, but my mom played both roles; I understand how difficult it was on her and am truly inspired by her determination. I can honestly say it is not easy growing up without a father figure, but I’ve grown stronger as an individual and learned to accept things for the way they are. I make the best of what I have to prove that a father is not needed to accomplish great things.

From the start of my high school education, I challenged myself academically by enrolling in Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses. I always try to be ahead of my courses and have succeeded in doing so. Since my freshman year I have earned college credit and have been involved in extracurricular activities to become a well-rounded student. I am involved in Science Technology Architecture Medical Professions (STAMP), Upward Bound College Preparatory Program, the Lopez High School award winning dance team, varsity powerlifting, ranked top 10% in my class, and at last given the honor of being accepted into the National Honor Society. The usual question posed to me is, “How do you do it all?” and my response is, “for HER!”(my mother).

Although I am the youngest in my family, I am also the most responsible, mature, and committed one. I understand that I have a long bumpy road ahead, but I recognize that it will all be worth it in the end. My goal in the next chapter in life is to attend the University of Texas San Antonio and pursue my passion in becoming a registered nurse to help those in need and make a change in someone's life.

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