Puerto Rican law student hopes to open doors for others

Delmarie Alicea 2I never imagined that I would be 34 years old and a mother of two when I applied to law school. It has been an unexpected path, which I initially did not understand and then met with resistance. My parents were born in rural Puerto Rico. Barranquitas is a picturesque small town rich in traditions, culture, and above all the warmth of its people, but weak in economic opportunity. My grandparents were illiterate, and my parents did not have the guidance or support to pursue a higher education. They were, however, very active in ensuring that both my sister and I would have that chance. They moved to the metropolitan area of Puerto Rico and made great sacrifices so that I could attend private school. My peers were mostly affluent children, and I lacked some of their advantages, but at school, I was judged only by my academic accomplishments. I realized that education is the ultimate equalizer, and that gave me the confidence to work hard and strive for success.

After the third time our home was burglarized, it was evident that we could no longer stay on our beloved island. I had never flown on a plane and did not anticipate that the first time I did so, it would be to leave all I knew behind. Puerto Ricans that live on the island refer to the United States as “aya afuera”, which translates to “over there in the outside”. I felt like an outsider the second I boarded the plane. My poor English, simple clothes, and glasses made me a magnet for bullies. I knew I had to learn the language quickly if I had any hope of fitting in. I used my frustrations as fuel, applied myself and within a year I was taken out of ESOL and placed in gifted classes. I graduated high school, but soon became a mom and had to put my schooling on hold.

I worked my way up in a prominent law firm and shortly after I was a litigation paralegal. I was inspired to retake my studies, and I am currently in the top third of my law school class. I wish to inspire other Hispanics to overcome their obstacles and crush stereotypes to be whatever they dream. My journey to law school could not have been more different than I had planned, and the reasons why I have a passion for this career have dramatically changed. Now, to me it’s evident that I will be an even more successful law student and lawyer due to the experiences I have amassed, the perseverance I have developed, and the motivation to inspire my children to follow their dreams and fulfill their purpose no matter what curves life throws their way.

Obtaining this degree will be a personal fulfillment, but more importantly is the work I will be able to do and the doors I will be able to open for others.

We are proud to announce Delmarie Alicea is one of the current LatPro Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column) and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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  • As a fellow classmate, I can fully attest to the deserving nature of Delmarie for this scholarship. The dedication to her studies is evident in her work and she is always an outspoken contributor to the learning process. Additionally, her approach to complex and compelling topics in the law classroom helps all of us to be more accepting of varying viewpoints. There is no question that Delmarie will utilize her law degree for the betterment of the Hispanic community and always be a champion for others in need.

  • As someone who has known Delmarie for sevral years, I can say that she is hardworking, determined, and deserving of this scholarship.

  • Hija de padres luchadores. Ella es una hija y madre excepcional. Muy dedicada, honesta,de valores morales y éticos indiscutibles. Estudiante esmerada en todo lo que hace. Es muy decidida por tal motivo creo que debería ganar ese ensayo por su valor y entereza de lograr sus metas y objetivos. Gracias y adelante DelmarieSM3E

  • For many years, I have been lucky enough to call Delmarie a friend. She is literally one of the strongest and most determined individuals I have ever met. To her, obstacles are simply things to acknowledge, assess and overcome with little or no doubt that she will be successful. It is awe inspiring to see in action. A force of nature who has raised two beautiful and successful children, while always keeping in her sights her own education and success. i cannot begin to think of a more deserving, selfless and inspiring choice for your scholarship. Awarding this to Delmarie will actually be like awarding it to thousands of others across generations, because what she learns and takes from this she will undoubtedly share tirelessly with others.

  • Wow! Extremely proud of your accomplishments and your continued focus. I am fortunate to have known you for several years and you have always exemplified a never give up attitude. I wish you a ton of success and whatever I can do to support you please count me in!!! Good luck!!

  • In knowing Delmarie for ver ten years, she’s one of the most hardworking, determined, and honorable persons I know. This scholarship will be used to make a difference in not just one life, but many to follow, because of who it’s given to; and for that reason Delmarie deserves this scholarship.

  • Delmarie I have seen your passion first hand you wanting to helping those who came from where you came. You are well deserving of this scholarship! Best of luck!

  • It has been an amazing friendship since the very beginning almost fifteen years ago. I continue to feel blessed for your beautiful relationship and for the bond we have formed. David and I are extremely proud of all your accomplishments and for all the continued success. It is not a surprise that you have been selected as one of the finalists to obtain such scholarship. You have been a prime example of a person that takes full advantages of even the most undesirable circumstances life has thrown your way. I have had the privilege of seen you grow as an independent woman who lives for her children and is only driven by her children’s well-being and to provide them with everything you can give them. You are a fighter and I know you will continue to be a great asset to society as an amazing future attorney and an advocate for justice. Love you to pieces and we are very proud of you Delmarie.

  • Good luck! I don’t know you personally but your story has inspired me to pursue higher education. My dream always has been to become a lawyer and help people in need. I wish you all the best!

  • Súper ejemplo de superación. Best of life’s success to you, God Bless you and your family. I’m unable to “like” this on here but I would click Love if I could! As a puertorrican woman and hardworking single mom, I Am Proud Of You… ¡Voy a ti!

  • Delmarie is an example to us all. I congratulate and thank her her in having the will to be the example in our community of perseverance no matter what the challenges may be.

  • I dont know her but reading her essay about how she had overcome many obstacles and barriers we face when we move to live in a different country with a different language,tells a lot about her struggles but also her desire and motivation to not only success but to help others and that is something that makes me really proud,please help this young lady achieve her goals.

  • Delmarie Alicea
    Recibe mi felicitación por tus logros y los que faltan… Me enorgullece !
    Estarás en mis oraciones para que puedas lograr de la mano de Dios, obtener y alcanzar tus metas.
    Dios te bendiga !
    Con Cariño y admiración.
    Sonia Ivette Santana Morales
    ( Séfora Sanmor )

  • ¡Que orgullo para las mujeres que representan la isla de Puerto Rico y todas las Latinas!
    You embody the spirit, perseverance and drive of the Tainos, the Spaniards, Africanos and all nationalities who became Puertorricans working so hard to establish a life in Borinquen. Carry your banner high for Borinquen our island and make us proud. Congratulations!

  • Not only is Delmarie the sweetest and most caring person I’ve ever known she is also one of the smartest and most curious. The fact that she has a two year old son and a fifteen year old daughter and still managed to stay top 25% of her class is so amazing. I am very very proud of her and all that she has done not only for her career but for my brother and I. She’s had set backs and has gone through obstacles, but everyone has. It’s what you do to over come those obstacles. She has done nothing but come out stronger and more dedicated. She asked “are you proud of me” not only am I proud of you I’m proud to call you my inspiration, to call you mom.

  • Delmarie , is an example of tenacity, nothing stop her. We all are so proud of her commitment and she always strikes for the best. She is determine woman. we are so prow of her.

  • Thank you so much to everyone. Reading your comments is so humbling (I cried lol )and encouraging. Especially my daughters, who I always aspire to make proud. Since this essay was written my ranking has improved and I have been accepted to a study abroad program in Costa Rica regarding human rights. Recent events here in Orlando and through out the country have cemented my commitment to make this world a more fair and loving world for us all, especially our Hispanic community that is still under represented in the legal profession. I will take all of your comments and keep working hard. Love is Love is Love is Love

  • I know Delmarie as a hard worker and always want to achieve more in life. YES I VOTE FOR DELMARIE so she can achieve her dream…

  • Me enorgullece que una boricua de raíces de mi Barranquitas este nominada para tan prestigiosa beca, y mujer y Alicea-López espero logres todas tus metas a orgullo para los Alicea-López ❤️PR ❤️Familia Alicea, Enjoy

  • Everyone should support others positive dreams. Specially those dreams that can help others. Unselfishness is a great quality. Delmarie is a good example of that. I hope she can obtain an opportunity to continue her goals. That way she can help her family, other Latinos and society in general. We should support every person who wants to grow and help others.

  • Exito prima. Excelente ser humano, una mujer emprendedora, luchadora, voy a ti, eres un ejemplo para muchos, recuerda que nunca te digan EL CIELO ES EL LIMITE, CUANDO HAY HUELLAS EN LA LUNA. TE AMO.

  • As a fellow Puerto Rican woman pursuing a graduate career, I can attest to the difficulty of such a journey. Delmarie’s story is one of perseverance, dogged ambition, and success. I think I just found my new role model!

  • It’s a pleasure and honor to participate in helping Delmarie Alicea in accomplishing her dreams. I have worked and known her for over 10 years. In that time she has always proven herself to be a remarkable woman a hard worker and a true friend. She’s is Beautiful in and out. And I am so proud of her. And she really deserves this scholarship and more. Keep up the great work. The Best is yet to come.

  • I am an incoming 1L and Delmarie has been so kind amd helpful. The world needs the kindness and caring that Delmarie exudes.

  • Delmarie is one of the most passionate and dedicated individuals whom I have met. She allows nothing to stop her from learning and striving towards her goals. There would be no better candidate to represent the core foundation of this scholarship than Delmarie, she deserves to fulfill these expectations and carry them with her throughout her journey. Truly a selfless and devoted individual.

  • I am proud to say that I know this person. She has amazing passion for the law and has fought extremely hard to achieve her goal of becoming a law student and everything that comes next. Without a doubt she is an exceptional student and future attorney.

  • Delmarie is one of the most intelligent, go-getter and simply inspiring person I have ever met. From personal experience I can say that it’s not easy to go back to school after you reach a certain age and have a family. She has the determination to get where she wants to be regardless of the obstacles that come her way. Keep doing what you are doing Delma. You have a very promising career ahead of you.

  • Delmarie came to our aid when our family was going through a difficult situation.She deserves this scholarship and much more. She will make a great lawyer helping those who need her services to fight the good fight. Sometimes we all need help along the way.

  • Delmarie I love you so much you are like a second mom to me I am so happy for you to go to Costa Rica and learn about what you love.

  • I know Delmarie since our high school years and despite having two kids she has the determination to pursue her dream of defending the rights of the underserved.

    As a journalist for Univision and CNN en Espanol I see the injustices many communities face and know Delmarie’s determination and drive can help our community and is a great example of a woman with courage.

    Highly recommend her for this scholarship!

  • Previous co worker at Morgan and Morgan ! Sweet, humble and professional! Represents our community well, and highly invlvolved in current events. She remains informed and driven! Rooting for you !

  • Querida sobrina, me enorgullece saber que estas nominada para esta beca, te deseo todo el exito que te mereces,. Voy a ti, Te quiero mucho titi iris

  • It is an honor to support Delmarie in her quest on becoming a lawyer. I have known her family for many years and there is not a doubt in my mind, that once she achieves this great honor of becoming a lawyer, she will be the voice of those that can’t speak.
    In my years of radio broadcasting, I have met a lot of great individuals, I can honestly say after many years of knowing her family, I can add Delmarie to that list.
    Please help her become the person that our comunnity needs.

    Thanks for your time and consideration.
    Yours truly;
    Fernando Miguel Negron
    Q Broadcasting Corporation.

  • As someone who knows Delmarie and has worked with her, I know she is an extremely hard worker, determined, passionate and ambitious. I know she will go far, and the legal field is lucky to have her.

  • I am so proud of you! You deserve this so much, I know how hard you have worked for this and to accomplish everything you set your mind to. You are truly deserving and such an amazing woman! Eres un gran orgullo! Un abrazo!

  • Inspiradora historia de una madre trabajadora que lucha para darle a sus hijos una mejor calidad de vida. Éxito en tus planes!

  • I am very pleased to have the opportunity to recommend Ms. Delmarie Alicea.
    She was in my contracts one class and contracts two class. I found her work to be of the highest quality.   She was always prepared and ready to present a case or ask an intelligent question.   She writes well and has the intellectual curiosity necessary to become an excellent attorney.   More important is the fact that she is a fine human being and works well with others.

  • Delmarie, you are most determined and goal oriented. I see many doors opening for you in the near future. Your enthusiasm is contagious. You will continue to blossom and go far helping many along the ways. We should all be so proud of you.

  • I’ve known Delmarie for many years and know that this scholarship will go to good use due to her determination to succeed in her future endeavors.

  • You deserve this! Hard work and determination have always taken people far; you have all it takes and much more. I totally see you as a future leader in the community, serving as its voice. Let’s hear it! Good luck!

  • Delmarie is definitely the right person for this scholarship. Despite being a mother of two children, she is very dedicated to school and probably spends more time studying than people without kids and other major responsibilities. Delmarie loves to learn and is always speaking up in class. She deserves this scholarship. -law school classmate

  • Delmarie Alicea,

    I feel moved and compelled by your story. I empathized with your story because just like you I am from Puerto Rico and I come from a very poor background. Our stories are very similar because I also have found in education the way for us to move up the socio-economic ladder in our society. I am a firm believer in Higher Education or any technical degree to help people from humble beginnings to succeed in life. I pray that you become the recipient of such distinction of receiving this Scholarship to help you with your Law Degree. Keep striving for greatness, we were made to THRIVE in life! May God Bless You and Grant you the desires of your heart! I know that by you becoming a Lawyer you will help so many people and guide other younger generations to follow in your footsteps!


    José L. Rivera, MSOL