[E]ver since I was a little girl, I have always loved business. I loved to set up my store at home with products we had, and even made my own cash register when my friends played with Barbies. My interest in financial markets came from the lack of freedom of these in the country where I’m from, Cuba. I come from a country where capitalism does not exist, where the government sets prices, and where there is no more than one choice of shampoo. It was always fascinating to me to watch movies about the stock market, how scarcity could be turned into abundance, and how everyone had an opportunity to forge a better future for themselves.
I immigrated to the United States seven years ago by boat with my mother. I did not speak a word of English, and my parents were divorced. My mom and I were on our own. For almost two years, my mom and I struggled tremendously financially. My mom could not afford a car, and we would walk over two miles from the grocery store to the room we had rented in somebody’s apartment. Before moving to the United States, I was a straight A student and at the top of my class in my town’s school. I worked extremely hard to make my parents proud.
Once here, grades did not come that easy to me. I struggled every single day to understand homework assignments, let alone exams. But my mom reminded every single day how great I was for trying, and I knew I could not let her down. I also knew that I was going to build a great future for myself so that I could give back to my mom and family in Cuba for all the sacrifices they made for me. Once I started High School, my mother still struggled financially. I decided to begin working part-time so that I could help alleviate her burden. All throughout high school, I balanced extra-curricular activities, a part-time job, and my academics. Doing this was difficult, but I’m extremely thankful to have learned so much from all the different experiences.
The future I envisioned for myself is finally coming true. I’m currently pursuing a degree in Finance from my dream school, in my dream city. Graduating with this degree will not only speak volumes about the huge sacrifices I have made and the effort I have put in, but also about the huge sacrifices my mom and my family have made. Graduating will attest all this hard work. Graduating will also mean I get to give back to my home country. Upon graduation, I plan to work in the Microfinance field, hoping to spur entrepreneurship in my home country, and through it bring about a change to the regime.
We are proud to announce Melanie Delgado is one of the current LatPro Scholarship finalists. Vote for her 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.