In 2010, I completed my master’s degree in Mathematics.
I was born in Chihuahua, Mexico in October of 1986. Less than a year later, my mother passed.
Trusting grandma to care for his four kids, my dad would make frequent trips to the U.S. My earliest memories of him are of his summer visits. What was planned as a temporary situation went on for years in a failed struggle to obtain legal residency.
In the summer of ’94 my father remarried and decided to make the move permanent. My older brother was first to join him in Chicago. A year later, my sisters, my grandma and I also made the trip with him.
I attended Davis Elementary and Kelly High School, both in Brighton Park. The implications of being undocumented quickly became clear to me as a senior. In the summer of 2004, I was invited to apply to Chicago State University as a founding member of their Honors College with a one semester scholarship. The offer was too good to pass.
Despite many financial struggles, I was able to complete my bachelor’s in 2008 after student-teaching at St. Francis De Sales High School in South Chicago. As an undocumented immigrant I was denied state certification to teach. In the spring of 2010, I completed my masters in mathematics. Still without employment authorization, during this time I worked construction and was employed at Los Delfines in Archer Heights to make ends meet. I also worked as coordinator for the Chicago Día De Los Niños Parade between 2009 and 2011.
At last, in 2012, I was granted employment authorization. I taught GED at Truman College. Then I taught Statistics at St. Augustine College. Since the fall of 2014, I’ve returned to Archer Heights where I now teach 8th grade math.