This student rejects the idea that history repeats itself by stating that s/he will be the first of her/his family to graduate from high school and go to college. In Mexico, her/his dad was considered too poor to receive an education and was instead told to do manual labor, while her/his mother did not receive an education because she was a woman. This made her/his parents particularly strict when it came to education, forcing her/him to read and study every day, from an early age.
This student’s family demonstrates the power of high expectations, as the parents’ trust in their child—and the strong discipline that accompanied their beliefs—has led her/him to believe wholeheartedly in her/his success. Her/his parents’ attitude also highlights the fact that people can overcome the negative environments they grew up in by trusting that their children deserve something better.
This student feels that Ms. Gruwell is acting in the same way, emphasizing the importance of college and planning trips to various kinds of universities for the students to get a broad picture of their different options. This student concludes that s/he wants to attend a small community college, where interactions with professors are more intimate. S/he compares her-/himself to the traveler in Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” saying s/he is taking the less-traveled road by going to college, thereby making a decision that is better in the long run and becoming an example to her/his younger sisters.
This student is given the chance to make an informed choice about the future and benefit from opportunities that her/his own parents were never given. In the same way, s/he wants to make the future more open for her/his own siblings, thereby perpetuating a cycle of high expectations for education in her/his family. As such, her/his own education does not benefit only her-/himself, but has the potential to impact an entire community.