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I am ready for college because I struggled so much to get here.As I have gotten older, I have learned to not only appreciate my parents, but to pay tribute to their sacrifices.
My knowledge about college and even high school in America was limited to whatever family sitcom I might’ve been watching.
As a first-generation student, you must learn to adapt to a whole different culture and language outside the one you’ve been born into.
During my time in high school, I held two jobs, volunteered every week, interned, and still assisted my family with daily tasks.
I didn’t always have someone there to pat me on the back and tell me I was doing well. I had to work three times as hard to be half of what my classmates were.
My siblings and I were constantly reminded of the sacrifices my parents made to come to this country and of all the pain they faced.
Life for my parents did not get easier once they came to America.The 1991 Somali Civil War led many Somali families to scatter around the world, amongst them, my very own.I was born into a home where the constant echoes of hope reminded me of a land I’d never seen.Rainier Scholars is a 12-year program that offers low income students of color a pathway to college.I completed their 14-month intensive program by the end of my 6th grade year.But believe it or not, I was one of the lucky ones.I was given the opportunity to have college as an option.I worked hard in school because I knew that I had so much riding on my education.Neither of my parents have a four-year bachelor's degree, let alone have taken a high school class in America.To be a first-generation student, from a low-income background, and a person of color, the odds are stacked against you.Graduating high school is an accomplishment that many students do not get enough credit for.