Against all odds, Colombian student pursues the American Dream

Edwin Giraldo LP[I] chose Mechanical Engineering while living in South America. I was born in Colombia where at a young age I developed an interest in the mechanics of my toys; this led me to take apart all of my Christmas gifts. My family decided to settle in the United States to look for a brighter future when I was ten years old and unable understand much of what was going on. While living in the US, I was fascinated by Mathematics—the subject was almost like second nature to me. I began making friends, learning English, and getting accustomed to the culture very quickly. Unfortunately seven years later my family was forced to return to our home country because of our lack of citizenship. This was an eye opening experience for me. It felt like a lifetime opportunity was slipping through my hands.

I continued my High School education in Colombia, where I was surrounded by young intellectuals who strived to be their best and make an impact on the world. Eventually, this attitude rubbed off on me and inspired me to concentrate on my education and life goals. My interest in mechanics and my fascination for Math coalesced into pursing a Mechanical Engineering degree. Set on my goal, I now had to work hard to make it a reality. Fortunately, my family and I were able to return to America where I could pursue my dreams. Just like the ghost of Christmas, I was ready to take full advantage of my second chance in the United States.

I received admission into the School of Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University after working very hard on my SATs. Unfortunately, since I had arrived to Pennsylvania from Colombia, I was considered an out-of-state student. This meant that tuition was unaffordable for my parents. I wasn’t planning on giving up though; I began my studies at a Community College while working full time. I then made my way into a Penn State branch campus where I continued to work and battle through my pre requirement courses in order to be accepted into my desired major. I am now writing this paper from University Park, Penn Sate’s main campus, as a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

Obtaining a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering would allow me to embrace the work ethic that my parents forged in me. Additionally, it would account for the American dream that my family arrived into the U.S. in search of. Looking into my future, it would mean economic stability for my future family and the ability to return to my community and help out students that have to deal with situations similar to my own.

We are proud to announce Edwin Giraldo is one of the current LatPro Scholarship finalists. Vote for his essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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