As all the other students are talking about their college application essays, this student feels that s/he cannot write about her status as an illegal immigrant, nor share the moment when her family immigrated to the United States—the most significant event in her/his life. S/he describes her/his mother’s decision to leave her/his abusive father and allow her children to have an education. This student feels that, despite having come to the United States, s/he is still being deprived of an education because of her/his illegal status. Nevertheless, s/he still believes that s/he can overcome her/his obstacles. S/he recalls the various sensations of her/his journey to this country, at the age of four, when s/he was carried across a dangerous river in the process of reaching the USA.
Once again, it becomes apparent that the Freedom Writers’ academic success does not always depend on forces within their control, since their legal status can impact their opportunity to pursue an education. This student expresses the injustice of being denied such an opportunity because of her/his family’s situation and not because of the quality of her/his own work. At the same time, the student trusts that s/he can derive strength from difficult moments in the past instead of simply seeing them as an obstacle and a burden.
When s/he discovered that there were many legal obstacles to going to school, having a job, and attending college as an illegal immigrant, s/he blamed her/his mom for bringing them here. However, s/he realizes this was a mistake, as her/his mom truly believed that there were more opportunities for them in the U.S. This student still doesn’t know what will become of her/him, or whether s/he will able to fulfill her/his dream of becoming an educator and helping other children in her/his situation.
This student becomes convinced that her/his family wants the best for her/him, and that whatever difficulties s/he is facing in the U.S. are not her/his family’s fault but legal restrictions beyond anyone’s control—the price this student’s mother paid for her child to be able to follow her/his dreams. Instead of giving in to despair, this student decides to persevere, just like her/his mother did.