He was a man, raised in poverty, who worked hard to support his large family. He constantly preached the importance of finishing high school and going to college. His pride when I, the oldest of 12 grandchildren, graduated high school was indescribable. It was a moment I never will forget. When I walked across the stage in my cap and gown and took hold of my diploma, he was living vicariously through me. As a Spanish speaker and a manual laborer, he hit a glass ceiling but always believed hard work would be fruitful, especially in the United States, where people come to achieve the American Dream.
Deckplates: The Educated Sailor Is an Investment
By Petty Officer Second Class Valerie Orozco
“La educación es muy importante mija. Tienes que estudiar, ir al colegio y trabajar como doctora o abogada. Si estudias vas a ir lejos.”
My grandpa sat me in his lap and explained the importance of school: “Education is important, honey. You must study, go to college, and become a doctor or lawyer. If you study, you will go far.”