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When my oldest Maddie graduated from high school a few years ago, she also graduated from community college as well. Her high school offered a dual degree program. When she graduated from college, she was the first grandchild of my in-laws to graduate.
You see my husband is a native of Mexico, and unlike here in the United States in some parts of Mexico if they want to attend school after junior high/middle school they have to pay for it. When our girls were born, my husband decided that he wanted them to take all the advantages that are offered to them here.
Being the first Mexican Americans born into the family, they embrace not only the culture of America but also the culture of Mexico. Sometimes it is hard to explain to people that they are Hispanic because for the most part they don’t look it. Yes, they have some Hispanic features, like the long dark hair and eye colors. However, their skin color is really light. It is only when people see their dad that they realize that they are Hispanic.
Their dad only has a 6th-grade education, but that has not held him back from pursuing his dreams. He has such a mechanical way of thinking, you just show him a picture of something, and he can figure it out.
When Maddie graduated from high school and with her Associate in Arts in the same year, you could see how proud he was. Not just only of her but of how far he has come. And I know that he will feel that way again when she graduates this December with her dual degrees in Psychology and Communications just another step on her journey to becoming a doctor.
Now her sister Mikaela is following the same path. She is also working on her high school diploma as well as a degree in mechanical engineering on her way to becoming in her words the best architect the world has ever seen.
But as you can imagine with two in college it can get pretty expensive. That is why I am so glad that there are incredible opportunities for them to get help paying for college. I am so excited that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. has now become a partner with The Hispanic Scholarship Fund. It is so important to those of us in the Latino communities to have fantastic support like this for our children. Who knew that a man who came here at the age of 16 with only a 6-grade education could have two daughters who are not only getting two-year degrees but are also working on degrees in their chosen career fields. Finally given those in the Latino community hope for the future. It is amazing when you think about it, isn’t it?
Make sure to check out The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (#HSFstories) and if you are eligible to apply, apply. Because a journey begins with the first step.