I Support AB 131 – Joaquin Torres’ Story

My name is Joaquin Torres and I support AB 131. I was brought over to the United States at the age of one. As much as I would love to, I can’t say I have any idea of what life in Mexico is. Nevertheless, it’s been ingrained in me through society that I am neither welcome, nor appreciated. As a child my parents always told me to educate myself if I ever wanted to succeed in life. I have been adamant in following the lectures that they always gave me.

My teachers, counselors, family all praised me along the way. Through my own determination I graduated high school with a 3.5 gpa, while passing several AP exams. I scored at the top of my class in the ACT and SAT tests for university admission. I even got accepted into Santa Clara University. My life would have been all but a dream had I not been reminded every day that I have no papers.

Luckily I can say that I am the youngest of my family and thus haven’t had to face the same struggle as some individuals but yet I feel some kind of entitlement. In the end I have had a disillusionment with merits. I feel that I have a lot to offer that I haven’t done simply because I can’t. And now at San Jose City College I feel like I’m being cheated out of a higher quality education. I have been doing all I can, I even completed a semester of college while in high school through AP exams. Ultimately, I want to finish my transfer requirements by Fall 2012. I am really hoping that if all goes well, I will be able to receive financial aid by the time I transfer. Given the conditions of my upbringing, and those of our society, all I really want is an education regardless of the institution.