The stars shined bright in her eyes, and I felt the night breeze blow past us as we stood on the balcony during the summer of 2020.
Although Kimberly is my cousin, I consider her to be my sister. I spent most of my childhood with her because my parents worked so much while I was growing up that I only saw them for an hour after school. My dad would head off to work early in the morning and arrive home late in the evening. He’d come home exhausted and dirty, but with a smile on his face. He greeted me as I waited for him in the living room, watching “The Big Bang Theory” and eating chicken nuggets. My mom worked in the afternoon, shortly after my older brother and I would return from school. She would do her best to cook, clean and take care of Kimberly, whose mom would work all day. Although we didn’t see each other that often, they did their best to raise us well.
My dad encouraged us to be independent and work hard at any task we were given. When we asked for a bunk bed, he said, “¿Porque quieres comprarlo cuando puedes construirlo?” which translates to “Why would you buy it when you can build it?” So we constructed it from scratch.
My mom taught us that to be able to achieve any goal we must work hard and ask for help when we need it. She would encourage us to work hard to improve our grades and get a new toy as a reward, while reminding us that it’s OK if we don’t understand it as long as we ask them or teachers for help.
My parents told me to work hard at school, learn from my brother’s mistakes and to seek improvement. They started to reinforce it more when my brother had problems when he was in the 6th grade. When my grades would go down, I’d feel disappointed and fear repeating the same mistakes my brother did, but I knew that at least Kimberly didn’t mind. Oftentimes Kimberly and I heard the arguments between my parents and older brother, leaving us to play or do as we wish.
As a result, Kimberly has grown to be someone so important to me that I’d do anything to see her happy. Whenever we feel down, we make sure to be there for each other. Kimberly is my rock; she cheers me up when I’m upset since she understands me better than my parents ever could. We’ve thought about our futures and want to travel through Asia and Europe. We plan to live together at some point.
I am determined to do my best in school and get a master’s in business because I’d like to produce and manufacture parts for companies like NASA and SpaceX. I want to begin by working in the finance department because of the experience I’ve gained through Cristo Rey’s Corporate Work Study Program.
As my dad has told me, “Tú tienes oportunidades y debes aprovecharlas, tu mama y yo trabajamos muy duro para asegurarnos de que las tengas, así que úsalas sabiamente”: “You have opportunities, and you should take advantage of them; your mom and I worked hard to make sure you have them, so utilize them wisely.” I’m willing to put as much effort needed to build a business, making sure I’m happy and successful enough to pay Kimberly back. I look forward to overcoming challenges since I have the strength and knowledge from the lessons I’ve learned in the past. In times where I struggle I know that I at least can depend on Kimberly, even if I don’t succeed.