Sergio: In His Own Words

by Ariel Reynolds on May 24, 2016

We recently read just a few of Sergio's essays that he wrote for scholarship applications. Generations' senior, Sergio, has allowed us to journey along with him throughout his senior year and we couldn't help but share these incredibly powerful short essays!

What have you learned through your adversities?

Throughout my adversities, I have learned that a bump in the road does not mean the car stops moving. A memorable Christmas was when all our family had was $81 in our bank account and an abundant amount of debts. My sisters and I collected spare change for a month and planned, now known as A Dollar Christmas. We went to our local dollar store and bought Christmas gifts for each other and our parents. While my friends were gifted video game consoles, I received dollar headphones and I could not have been smiling any bigger. As I hugged my father, tears running down my cheek, I could not help but realize that weeks prior we were not expecting any gift at all and yet here we were on the most wonderful time of the year still smiling and enjoying each other's company.

Who is the person you dream of becoming and how do you believe Syracuse University can help you achieve this?

The Martin J. Whitman School of Business really stood out to me. As a heavy supporter of the idea that knowledge is power, I believe that Whitman will equip me with the knowledge required to accomplish anything. The abundant amount of business majors that the school provides really proves that there is no limit. When one hundred percent of Whitman students leave having completed at least one internship, that reassures me that The Martin J. Whitman School of Business will prepare me to experience the professional world at a new level.

I dream of providing hope for my community. I want to be as successful as my wildest dreams allow me to be and come back to my home, community, and school to reassure a new generation of minorities, who long for a better tomorrow, that no matter what background they come from it is possible to succeed. Already renowned as a university that provides all that is necessary for their students, I know that Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Business can only make me better and mold me into the adamant leader and role model I yearn to be.

What does being Hispanic mean to you, and how do your life experiences shape your answer?

Growing up it was very difficult to pinpoint exactly what it meant to be Hispanic. It was such a predicament that I even had an identity crisis as to what exactly did it mean that I was that.

When I was a child my dad would remind me persistently to never forget my roots; even though I am being raised in the United States I will always be Hispanic. "Look at your skin mijo" he would say, "Be proud of it, that is you." I had no shame in being Hispanic: our culture is amazing, our people are friendly and talk to each other as if they have been long time friends, the food is surreal.

However, as I grew older it was harder and harder to want to be Hispanic. They say ignorance is bliss, and in this case it was. The less I knew about how our society portrayed my people, the happier I was. I became aware of the statistic that followed most Hispanics in this country and became deeply depressed by them. For a while I did not want to be Hispanic, nonetheless my skin tone was a constant reminder to myself and to others that I was, and I hated it. I tried to stop saying my name with my Mexican accent and tried to Americanize it, even though it sounded distasteful and bleak.

After failing to Americanize myself, I then tried to follow the stereotypes. I started acting how the TV and songs depicted us. I began being rebellious in school and getting into more trouble. It was ludicrous how I thought that was even remotely a good idea, but I did not know what I was and what I should be. I am not a bad person so why did people look at me sketchily when I walked into a store or walked by them on the streets? My dad being the old-fashioned man he is took action upon my insubordinate attitude, I will forever be grateful for that.

Once that phase was over I did not know what else there was to being Hispanic. It was not until now that I know what it is to be Hispanic. To be Hispanic means to be a minority, a statistic, but nonetheless a fighter. Throughout my life, the odds have always been stacked against me. The mere fact that I am Hispanic makes me just part of another statistic destined to fail. Does that mean I will succumb to this cultural effect? No! I dream of providing hope for my community. I want to be as successful as my wildest dreams allow me to be and come back to my home, community, and school to reassure a new generation of minorities, who long for a better tomorrow, that no matter what background they come from it is possible to succeed.

I will succeed, it is in my roots to succeed. Like Cesar Chavez once said "Si se puede".

If you would reflect back on Sergio's senior year and path to college, read more about his path to college, the beginning of his senior year, and his teachers' reflections.