East Bay high school senior drawing strength from her family

My name is Camila and I was born in Oakland. I currently live with my mother, older sister, and younger brother in San Leandro. As a family, we have been through many challenges. However, that has made us stronger and closer to each other. My family supports me and my passions for art, education, and social justice. My mother is always curious about my art projects and often asks where I get my inspiration from. Moreover, she and my sister motivate me to try my hardest in school and be an advocate for the Latino community.

Camila (left) with her sister, brother, and mother

Camila (left) with her sister, brother, and mother

My family is always interested in the activities I am participating in during school and everything I am learning. An example of their support in my activities would be during my sophomore year when I signed up to be a part of my high school's swim team. I was very nervous and did not know what to expect from such a new experience. It was the first time I became a part of an athletic team, but my family always went to my swim meets and cheered me especially when I was scared or nervous. They support me by encouraging me to give my best and to be resilient no matter the challenges I may face. The fact that they believe in me and are there for me has helped me so much in my growth as a whole.

Camila's mother and grandmother

Camila's mother and grandmother

I also really look up to my grandmother in Chile. She raised eight children with her husband and lived during a dark and dangerous time in Chile. When I am able to visit her, she always reminds me about staying in school and how much education will help me through life. My grandmother did not have the opportunity to go to college, but she is a very educated and poised woman. She sincerely believes that education is the pathway to a more just and equal society.

I have always loved art, science, and history. In school, I have taken those classes every year. Moreover, I have challenged myself in those subjects by taking Advanced Placement United States, Advance Placement Art, Honors Biology, and Honors Chemistry. I like these subjects because they allow me to wonder, question, and not be afraid to take on a challenge. I like to say that my mind works with curiosity and creativity, and I feel that these subjects allow me to think critically and allow space to grow.

I aspire to travel as much as I can. I have always want to go to Japan, France, Seychelles, and Bora Bora. I have only been to Chile and Costa RIca, but those trips have pushed me to pursue my dream to travel around the world and expand my perspective.

As a high school senior, I have come so far and going to college is definitely a goal of mine. I have already been accepted to many small liberal arts colleges throughout the country. I would like to study neuroscience or law. This is because I have always been interested in studying the brain and the nervous system. Moreover, my younger brother has autism, and that has taught me a lot about how people develop and grow with or without disabilities. Regarding my interest in law, in my community there is a lack of opportunities and significant injustice. I want to be able to give back to my community and support low-income families just like my own. I am currently waiting on responses from more colleges I have applied to, and I am researching for scholarships that will me pursue the goal of attending college. In all, I feel excited for the opportunity to attend college and to be able to expand my horizon towards the future.

Thank you so much for helping me make this all possible!

~Camila

Posted on March 13, 2017 .