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Winning Essays 2013 > Illeana


Winning Essay: Illeana Barron

Why a Degree? 

IlleanaAlthough I have been raised in San Antonio for the majority of my life, all my family and cultural ties are back in Mexico City where I was born. I consider my parents to be two of the most influential people in my life. Just like many other Mexican parents who try to provide their children with an exceedingly better life in the United States, my parents have shown bravery and a tremendous amount of courage by leaving the life they knew behind them in search of a better one. Despite the many challenges they faced, they have taken all of their customs and traditions and thrown them into the Melting Pot of culture that makes up America. Because of my parents and their influence over me, I have been given the motivation and determination to excel in my academics.  From the sacrifice and work ethic that I consistently see in my father and the love and strength that my mother provides for this family, I have set the necessary long-term and short-term goals that I know will pave a path of future successes for me. I want a degree from Northwest Vista College because I aspire to accomplish more in my life. 

For starters I have already achieved one of my first short-term goals; I am the first person in my family who has attended and will receive a college degree. Growing up a teenager, one never really appreciates the sacrifices that his or her parents make for them, whether they may be from a household of Hispanic parents, or from cultures and backgrounds different to that of the American culture. However as we grow older and in a sense, wiser, we do more than just take into consideration everything our parents have done for us; we then strive to become someone that our parents could be endlessly proud of since we are just as proud of their own accomplishments. Knowing how proud I made my parents when I decided to enroll for college drove me towards looking to achieve the best possible college education out there, which is why I want to graduate from Northwest Vista and earn my degree.  

After my family and I visited Mexico City for the first time in 15 years in the summer of 2011, I grew more appreciative about the abundance of blessings that my family has here in the United States. I was left thinking about all the opportunities I have living where I live, in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. I realized that not only would earning a degree be one of the greatest opportunities that I could have, but I could share with others the value of learning as well.