Among the defining affairs in my life, the most poignant is an ill history that has taken place overseas, boldly prompted to my eyes and beginning prior to my birth. It is this dire event, replete with poverty and ignorance, that fuels my ambitions for justice and equity. A sad story 6,120 miles away from the United States in a country unknown to the rest of the world still resonates within my being. Every day that passes this ghost grows further from the world as time separates it from the minds of so many others. However, each day the personal significance of this misfortune grows stronger. As I approach a pivotal point in my life, where ambitions can be realized, I feel the impact of this story stronger than ever before.
This story is the Dominican History. A history full of masacres, tyrannies, and constant violations towards society, a story that does not yet have a happy ending. Despite Dominican’s suffering and hardship, these people sacrifice whatever they have in hope of justice and prosperity for future generations. Many immigrate illegally to Puerto Rico risking and many times losing there lives. Many leave their loved ones behind, and still more never return . My mother emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States more than twenty years ago due to the hard times. In flights imersed with fright and sadness from “ El Aereopuerto Internacional de las Americas” to New York and later to Rhode Island she physically left her country. However, she carried with her those nights of hunger and tears. To this country she brought her hope, spirituality, gratitude for life and ambitions that are quintessential of the Dominican spirit. I have been blessed to inherit these bittersweet aspects of her character, which manifest in times of need. My mothers struggle has been inspirational and very influential to me. She is deeply scarred by these misfortunes. As her daughter I witness her psychological and physical scars, and, as her daughter I acquire my own.
Growing up a first generation American is a blessing. I am able to embrace two cultures, two languages, and acquire an international perspective of the world. Even at a very early age, I expressed interest and pride in my Dominican heritage. I soon became a person dedicated to two flags, a citizen of two nations. However, some of the most affecting experiences that attribute to my passion and knowledge are those that are painful. The hardships were never truly left behind. I remember once in first grade she had gone to pick me up early from school. Some minor authorities starting questioning her, questions she did not know how to answer, questions she did not understand. I saw her sob and sob in desesperation, hands on face and cheeks wet from tears.Following her departure, my mother was faced with multiple cases of severe discrimination. I still have vivid memories of “neighborly” exchanges of words. Some entailed “Stupid spick” being screamed into my face., although I was born in America. Even more disturbing are the prolonged events that unraveled in school while teachers turned deaf ears.
I am driven by the knowledge that the direct experience of war far exceeds all the adversity I have encountered, and may confront. My father lost his sight, but many more children in the world lose their fathers. My family has experienced discrimination, however, it is not nearly as horrific as having your own people killed before your home. Year upon year my family receives pictures from Lebanon. One I will never forget is the image of my cousins enjoying a beautiful day outside. Their faces are full of smiles. All the while, a tank sits inconspicuously in the background. Their perseverance and undying spirit is so incredibly moving.
— Recently, my father shared with me a touching bit of information: the day of my birth he had prayed that I would grow to help the people of Lebanon. I intend to.
Due to this painful moment in my family’s history, my interest in the field of law flourished. By knowing and witnessing the suffering of inequity, a career in justice became of incredible importance to me.
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