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The Bug: My community in 651 words

October 5, 2018

I have lived in Laredo, Texas, all my life. This community has allowed me to gain a different perspective of the world. It holds a unique position between two countries that allows Laredo to have a variety of different people and cultures. Since this city has a story of its own, I am proud to have grown up here. From the downfalls to the successes, wherever life takes me, I will always take Laredo with me.

Since my hometown’s geographic location is along the border with Mexico, inaccurate stereotypes are made towards us Hispanics. No, we are not all: poor, criminals, wetbacks, drug dealers, or alcoholics; we are not what others see us as. We are so much more.  There have been times where people from other cities do not want to accept Laredoans because of their opinions on Hispanics. Even going to summer camps and programs have made me realize that others see our ethnicity to be inferior to this country. These setbacks have made me push myself to prove them wrong. I want to be a positive representation of my people and be able to help put an end to negative perspectives towards Hispanics.

However, just like other cities, it is not always rainbows and butterflies here; for the most part, it is a great place to grow up in. Despite the negative opinions of others, my city continues to grow in numbers and successes. Being looked at as just another Hispanic has taught me to keep moving forward, even if there are people who do not believe I can. Living in Laredo my whole life has helped me become stronger, humble, and successful.

The magic location of my hometown makes me a part of multiple cultures simultaneously. Since Mexico is in our backyard, most of my community is Hispanic. To be able to grow up around such a strong Hispanic culture, as well as others, has contributed to the person I am now. The culture goes a long way from learning manners to celebrating a girl’s 15th birthday, with a “Quinceanera.” Being the granddaughter of a Korean immigrant and having the advantage of learning the language, eating the food, following their traditions has made me very diverse.  The feeling of being a part of a multicultural environment helps me gain insight into understanding and accepting other ethnicities. My environment has shown me that a person’s ethnicity should never be a reason not to respect them.

Since Hispanics are often underestimated and brought down by others, their confidence to further their studies is often low. I feel that our community is always two steps behind another when it comes to education. For example, many Laredo students whose first language is Spanish receive low tests scores. In addition, the number of families living in poverty in Laredo is high; so, it is difficult for schools to get the resources they need without money. Overcoming downfalls is tough but not impossible. Many have furthered their studies elsewhere and have become successful. There are plenty of students in my community that do not believe they have what it takes to attend college. They come from backgrounds and families that are not well educated; so, it affects them. Having to see my classmates feel insecure about their opportunities makes me believe that so much more can be done to improve. These situations have taught me that no matter where you come from, anything is possible with a positive mindset. Our system is not the greatest, but we continue fighting to take a path towards better education.

We aspire to come back and be the change we want to see in our hometown. Attending the University of Texas at San Antonio would give me the opportunity to grow as a person and a student. With my knowledge and experience, I plan to return to Laredo and be living proof of what Laredeons can be.

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