Personal Narrative: My New American Home

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In 1991 in an apartment in Everett, Washington my family’s living room was adorned with elementary age handwritten homework. Walls covered with eight and eleven-year-old calligraphy, rooms echoed with oral histories. This was my new American home. I could hear my mother boasting about her kids on phone calls to familials in Mexico. I was gladdened as I was falling in love with the written word. My siblings and I were breaking a cycle of illiteracy with the added challenges of learning a language we didn’t yet know. Back in Michoacan, Mexico, where my family is from there are few educational opportunities. Given the pervasive poverty in my place of birth, I was unlikely to get an education beyond 6th grade if I were raised there. When I was seven years old the lack of socioeconomic and educational opportunities forced my family to emigrate to the United States. We found our new home in Everett, Washington.
My home life was ordinary to me, so when I visited my first American friend’s house and witnessed the attention that her parents allotted to her homework I was awakened to the gaps of support that my parents
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I transcended feelings of powerlessness and defeat by taking part in community learning opportunities, activism, writing groups and performances. It was through this participation that I accepted my sexuality and gender, found a supportive community and decided to seek help for my addiction. Although I had a financially stable job, a form of success for children of immigrants, I exited it to fulfill my dreams of obtaining a college degree. I enrolled as a 24 year old freshmen at Evergreen State College. As a non-traditional student I found my age and experiences of marginalization an asset to the institution. The knowledge I gained fueled my urgency to create a more egalitarian

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