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  • Edición impresa de Mayo 7, 2019.

This season brings many fulfilled dreams; dreams of better future, dreams of running away from poverty, violence and uncertainty. For all those who are first generation graduates, this is a season of triumph, and applause, but behind those dreams there were times of trouble and pain. There continue to be for many the uncertainty of parents been sent away or some who already have left.

For immigrants’ children graduating comes at a high cost, not only a monetary one, but one linked to having to prove oneself, in order to belong and be accepted. For the immigrants themselves, the graduate’s diploma implies having lost the child to this culture and being distanced from their families back at their place of origin. Their children speak good English, and probably a very bad native language.

This younger generation presents a different picture from the ones graduating 20 years ago, even if they are graduating under the same circumstances. There was a stronger cultural link before that now has been lost in the midst of the multicultural environment.

Dreams are forged in daily life, and they are instilled by parents, teachers and others, who daily encourage children to learn and achieve. Why is it then, that some do not fulfill the dream?

Sometimes the encouraging words are there, but they don’t ring true. You can say “If you go to college…”, and it’s different than saying: “when you go to college…” The second one carries not just the expectation, but also the assurance that the future holds a career for that child.

Fulfilled dreams are made of wishes, promises, and expectations and also of hard work, the hard work that comes from all those who financially supported the dream by providing care, food, shelter and a non-threatening environment where the child could grow and develop. It has also taken a great deal of work from the student who had to face difficult language, cultural and race differences in order to meet his/her goals.

Not only teenagers are graduating soon from high school, ahead of them we celebrate the college graduates from diverse backgrounds. There are ones who have always been provided for and whose only responsibility was to study and have fun at college. Alongside them, there is an ever-growing group of adults, single parents, people with multiple responsibilities, who not only face daily work routines accompanied by family responsibilities, caring for their children, and many times also caring for their parents. Their lives are full of hurdles and many times, they have had to give up for a while and come back later to fulfill the dream.

On this occasion we would like to honor those graduates. The ones who have shown the courage and perseverance to finish a career, while taking care of everyday life, with a full load or financial and emotional responsibilities.

It is not just their accomplishments; by their sides were spouses and even children who now feel that all was worth it. It is a plural victory for all of them to see this dream fulfilled.

A big applause is due every family member who is embracing a graduate today.

 

 

 


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