I came to the United States when I was 10 years old. It did not take too long to realize that having to learn a new language while becoming accustomed to the American culture would become one of the most difficult yet long-term rewarding moments of my life. As I became the first one in my family to obtain a bachelor’s degree, I decided to keep pursuing higher education and attend dental school. I am currently a second year dental student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and the Vice President of the Hispanic Student Dental Association chapter at my school.
On June 1, 2009, I traveled along with my father to Melbourne, Florida to receive the Congressional Medal of Merit, presented by Congressman Bill Posey for my academic excellence and service to the community. I was one of the 26 distinguished 15th Congressional District high school students receiving such prestigious award and little did everyone know that I was undocumented.
Your journey of acceptance into graduate or professional school will be challenging yet rewarding. Be passionate about the career path you decide to take on and be confident in your abilities to succeed in any task you set yourself to accomplish. Find out if your school has a pre-health and pre-law advising office, they will be your key to knowing the application and interviewing process. If not, then find a mentor, a friend, or a professor who you trust and will guide you through the process of applying to graduate programs. Additionally, in order to develop and enhance your skills, take on any opportunity even if it might seem challenging. Most importantly, be honest in your application and do not be afraid; tell them your story and the challenges you have faced as an undocumented student to get to where you are. My goal through these few words of encouragement and advice is to empower you so that you too achieve your educational goals and land yourself your dream career. Best of luck!