Thank you to Vocalo Radio for inviting me to be part of their "This Is What Chicago Sounds Like" series, a series that captures the diversity of our city.
Chicago has shaped my life by instilling in me the idea that must use my intellect to help people. So I try to use my writing skills and my teaching skills to help young people find their way in the world.
Like many 1stgeneration Latinos in the 90s, I had to figure out college on my own.
When I got to college, I didn’t know that mentorship was a thing. I didn’t know that I could have benefitted from someone who could guide me in that role.
When I became a teacher, here and there I met people I could go to to help me with difficult situations. So I’ve learned the importance of mentorship, and I’ve seen the difference it’s made in my life. It’s something I try to do—aside from teaching students how to write. I also try to help them make the decisions that are right for them.
Chicago has taught me how to persevere. Despite it’s inequality, despite its violence, and despite the many situations—political, and social, and economic—that have pushed out working class families like mine, I’ve been able to find opportunities that enabled me to establish roots here.
It’s a city that has helped me find ways to make my way in the world. It’s because of those struggles that I am a better person and, hopefully, a better teacher.
Listen to the 6-minute audio segment on SoundCloud.
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