Guest editorial | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial

Elizabeth Barboza, Park City

I would like to start by give a special thank you to Ms. Kelly Thomas and the Park City Education Foundation for funding our trip. It was really generous of them to donate money to give us a chance to experience a day in college. Once I heard about the opportunity to sign up and spend a whole day in college with people from my ethnicity, I felt excited. I was really curious about how they would inspire us to finish school.

It was a wonderful experience to be in a different community than usual. My day started out coming to school early to arrive on time, so I could get on the bus. It was a cold morning, but that didn’t ruin my attitude. At first, I was a bit anxious, considering that we were the only district that wasn’t from Salt Lake City. But I had no reason to be nervous, they greeted us with kindness, and they were extremely polite.

As soon as we sat down in the forum, we were having breakfast and were listening to speakers tell about their experience in college. Most of them didn’t even think they would be able to make it that far. Later on, we went to different stations and they started talking about opportunities and reasons why we should consider studying further than a high school diploma. They gave me more courage and faith in processing my goals in life.

There was a particular station that I really enjoyed, and they talked about the diversity and how anyone could achieve their goals if they really put their mindset to it. The professor was a woman from East Los Angeles, Calif., a community where most Chicano students wouldn’t even consider graduating. But she had a different plan for herself, although she was surrounded with temptations and violence, she didn’t let that get in the way of pursuing a career. She inspired me to believe that I can become anything I would like to become. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to college. But after hearing what she had to say, my mind changed. She was all about inspiring Chicano students to make sure they knew they could do it.

All my friends really enjoyed the trip. The University of Utah was filled with people from different ethnicities, and the school wasn’t segregated. Toward the end of the day, we all gathered in the forum and had students perform cultural dances. The trip was not only educational but cultural. I’m glad that they also made sure to include the culture we were all born into. I was glad to meet different students from the Granite District. They were all polite and had the same mindset as me — to go to college and pursue careers.

If I had the chance to go to college again, I would take it. It was a wonderful experience, and I met lots of inspirational people. I would also like to give a special thanks to M.E.C.H.A. for setting the day up and gathering everyone up to give Chicano and Latino students a chance to experience how college life feels. I’m glad to say that I will soon be the first to go to college in my family: I’m set on making my parents proud. Not only them, but I’m doing this to make myself proud and to teach other students that it is possible to achieve your goals.

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