Student - Yale University

I was looking forward to May: to when I could graduate as the first-person in my family, as a proud, motivated DACA-mented Latina. I was ready for the upcoming weeks spent with my friends before they scattered around the globe, the last chances, and the in person goodbyes. But that was before schools were closed, my city went into quarantine mode, and my mom lost her job. Now I find myself looking at a full course load, a daunting senior thesis, and the vulnerable task of finding a job to help my family financially. It’s stressful to say the least. My three younger siblings were sent home as their high school and elementary school was canceled, leaving us all six of us to rely on one income.I feel the panic in my household as the numbers rise, and the news says it will be months before any relief, and it makes us question if we can survive months without a source of income, and whether me going to find a job will put me and my family at risk for getting infected.

But for now, we are better than most. We have our health and for that I am grateful. Although I am far from friends, I still feel supported.

I hope to lean on my friends, my teachers, and mentor to finish the school year while working two jobs. I wasn’t what I pictured, but I’m hopeful that these times will provide an opportunity for my family to grow closer. In the end, I will finish what I started. Come May I will still be the first-person in my family to graduate, and no pandemic could take that victory from me.