When you see these schools that have over $40,000 a year price tag, like how do you turn to your mom and say, “If you want me to achieve our dream, it’s gonna take more than you make in a year.” I think something I didn’t recognize before was just how much it was a weight bearing on my shoulders to be able to attend college, because you know, I had so much doubt. I was born in Dallas, TX, both of my parents came from Mexico. Growing up in the U.S. with parents who grew up in a different country, I kind of had to navigate the education system on my own. They really couldn’t help me with my homework or give me advice on things that were going on in class, but my Mom had great aspirations for me. [ANGELES:] I always tell them, it’s good to go to school, to be somebody. Don’t be like us, working hard for a little bit of money. His dad was never with us so I had to be with him all the time, to support him, to tell him all the time I’m over here for you. [MISA]: In second or third grade you don’t really think about the quality of education you’re receiving. And it wasn’t until somebody recommended to my mom to send me to a charter school that I saw what more education could be. Because I was doing very well in my classes a lot of the teachers and my friends even suggested to me, like, why don’t you apply for a private high school. [ANGELES]: When he told me he wanted to go to this high school, I told him well, you know, it’s very expensive over there, like how am I gonna do it to pay all that money? And he’s like “Don’t worry, I can find out!” He’s a good kid, a very good student, a very hard worker. He always knows what he wants. [MISA]: Eventually, when it came to Junior year, and hearing about the Questbridge Scholarship, I thought, t his is my chance. This is my opportunity to really, to do things that otherwise would have been unobtainable for me, and I figured the only way that I would get it is if I really stood out, and I really just went above and beyond. [ANGELES]: Like I told you, he always was looking everywhere doing applications here, there and I was always, say, praying. [MISA]: When I learned that I would be going to Colby College on a full-ride scholarship, I more than anything felt relieved that I could finally breathe. [ANGELES]: I was like, Thank God! I was right! I was very happy. Very proud. [Misa]: To be here, and to get to this point, it just takes so many people. I think that’s a really big part of having a healthy mindset when you’re a first-gen low income student. It takes that recognition to understand that things aren’t as easy for myself or for you as they are for everyone else. So I think it’s okay and healthy to say I’m proud of myself and the work I’ve put into this. Everything is going right so far, and I’m going to keep running with it, and hopefully pave the way so that students get that quality education that goes above and beyond what’s in a textbook. To really help them escape those cycles, to escape those limits, to escape those boundaries, to break out of that. I think that’s the best way to repay everything that’s been done for me already. No matter what it takes I’m gonna give it my all.