My commitment is to my parents and family members. I am a 1st generation college graduate. No one in my whole family had ever gone past high school. My mom only attended until 2nd grade and my dad finished middle school. My parents are from Valle de Santiago, Gto. (Guanajuato), Mexico. I was born in the U.S., but was raised in my parents’ homeland. I attended school in Guanajuato until I was 8 years old. Then, my parents decided that it was time to move back to Napa, California. We packed all our things and left Gto. I was born in the U.S., so I had no problem going back, but it wasn’t so easy for the rest of my family. During this time, I only had two sisters and mom with me. My dad was already in the U.S. waiting for us. It took my mom and sisters three weeks to get to my dad and I in L.A. I was only 8, so I was clueless as to why it was taking my mom and sisters so long to get to L.A. Now that I am older, I understand everything.
“Sometimes I cry when I realize all the trouble my parents had to go through in order to pursue a better life for my siblings and I. Because of their struggles, my commitment is to them.”
My mom never got the opportunity to finish her education, neither did my dad. My papi wanted to be a computer scientist, but his parents didn’t have the resources to help him continue with his dreams. My dad has worked since he was 6 years old. He is now 49. I want to thank my dad because he has always been there for me. Not only has he cared for me, but he loves me so much. He is my ultimate role model. He gave me the opportunity to chase my dreams by helping me pay for college and supporting me every day. I know he always tells me that “lo que tu hagas te va a beneficiar a ti, porque es tu futuro no el mio,” but I do all of this for him and my family. I want him to be proud of me. I want him to be happy to call me his daughter. I know that no matter what I end up doing with my life, he will always love me.
I decided to become a teacher when I was in high school. In 10th grade I had one of the best history teachers ever. He helped me realize that I had a huge passion for history and that I wanted to be a teacher. I thank him for inspiring me. I now want to be that teacher that inspires others. I know I have inspired my siblings and cousins to continue their education, but I want to inspire my students too. I am now a student teacher, but I have worked with 2nd graders for the past year. I tutor and teach basic and below basic students to achieve proficient levels in math and literacy. I noticed that all my students were Latinos. I began to create a relationship with the students and parents as well. That relationship helped me grow and helped my students grow. I was able to help every single one of them achieve a higher level of learning. I felt so happy because I knew I could make a difference. Now I want to teach high school students, inspire them and help them grow, just as I did with the smaller students. My overall commitment is to help my community by planting the seed of success in all my students.
Storyteller Lizbeth Quiroz is a luchadora and is currently a teacher. She is here to inspire and create change. Lizbeth is from Napa, California.