Education is Key

By: Arlene Guerra

2 Votes

Education is Key - Arlene Guerra

Point Loma Nazarene University


The earliest memories I can recall are spending my days in beautiful mansions by the beach, playing with my stuffed animals as my mother dusted the tall glass windows with all her strength. These windows reflected the beautiful beach and the peacefulness of the sun setting. I remember watching my mother’s boss relax nearby as my mother catered to her every need. When my mom finished work my brother and I would spend cold nights in the car, waiting for my father to finish the night shift as a cook in a downtown hotel. I was exposed early to the world of hard working labor and these experiences opened my eyes early to the world labor and the toll it took on my parents.

My mom would come home with aches and pains. My dad would arrive home as I was leaving for school with tired and heavy eyes. I could see them both physically and emotionally exhausted from working and not being able to have the luxury of taking time off. I watched as they worked more than 40 hours a week to collect only enough to provide for all the basic necessities Two questions that came to my mind were why and how. Why were my parents working so much and so hard? How my parent’s were bosses privileged to be the boss and simply give direction? As years went by, it began to make sense to me.

Both my parents immigrated from El Salvador, escaping the brutal civil war and some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin American history, in search for better opportunities. I am eternally grateful to them for making this sacrifice, something that has given me the opportunity to write to you today.

By working long hours at physically and emotionally draining jobs, my parents limited their ability to receive an education. Watching my parents count every cent to make each month’s rent made me feel like a burden. I felt useless and I wanted to do everything in my power to change our situation. As my parents worked hard with their hands, I resolved to work hard with my intellect.

I came to the conclusion that education was what made the difference between the opportunities my parents had and the opportunities their bosses had. Education has power to define the future, and my education will be the most important in redefining my family’s legacy. I am the first high school graduate and I will be a first generation college graduate. One day I will provide a mansion in which my parents can relax and watch the sunset.