Newly arrived to the US at age four, I would watch the news in order to learn English. By age five, I could read, so I would devour anything I got my hands on.
One of the most impactful moments in my life was reading President Obama’s biography. I was in the 5th grade and learning about the Civil War. That a black man was to be President of the United States proved to me that despite any institutionalized barrier, despite any seemingly overwhelming setback, anything was possible. I read that President Obama graduated from Columbia University, so despite being undocumented, I decided I too would graduate from Columbia.