Determined to become the first person in her family to graduate from college, Eglaen is not letting her citizenship status deter her from getting financial support she needs to pursue her dream.
Born in Reynosa, Mexico, Eglaen learned at a very young age that sacrifice, hard work and determination would be the key to securing a brighter future. At age 8, she and her family immigrated to the United States.
But the pursuit of the American dream brought forth its own unique challenges. Among them, not being able to speak English was a major barrier that affected her transition.
“I was afraid of the people that were trying to talk to me and of teachers trying to get me involved in class.”
Her anxieties were soon put to rest when her school administrators and Communities In Schools got involved. She was immediately connected with the appropriate resources to help her learn English and navigate her new surroundings.
By middle school, she was able to communicate effectively with others, read, write, and even translate and interpret for family members and neighborhood friends.
“Being able to help my family overcome their language limitation is very important to me. I felt that I achieved my goal and the hard work had finally paid off.”
Today, she ranks among the top ten in her graduating class, and is currently the senior class vice president. While she has managed to excel academically, it is still a challenge to secure scholarships for college because of her citizenship status as an undocumented immigrant.
Despite this, Eglaen remains grounded and determined to get financial support for school so she can become the first person in her family to graduate from college. She plans to earn an Associate’s Degree in Arts with a major in Linguistics. Her goal is to work in the medical field in order to help non-English speaking people get access to medical services despite the language barrier.“I believe that everything that you desire to achieve is possible as long as you put forth all of your effort. My journey has been long and now I’m excited about transitioning into the next stage of my life…my college adventure.”