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For the children, the nonstop playtime and carefree memories mitigated the obstacles that came with our socioeconomic insufficiency.For me, our tight-knit family and living situation made it much easier to overcome the absence of my father.His choices had an adverse impact on not only my family, but also our community at large.
Rejecting the criminal element in our community required a deliberate choice to exclude myself from the majority and often made me feel left out.
Many of my peers criticized me and called me stuck up or “white washed” because of the choices I made.
I did not spend my entire youth in that overcrowded yet comforting home.
Eventually, my mother remarried and we were able to move out of my grandparents’ house.
In fact, that feeling was so strong that I became fixated on the goal of creating a life opposite to that which my father had built.
Pursuing a brighter future did not come without obstacles in my neighborhood and family.My father represented many of the negative stereotypes that Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants have to combat.He immigrated to the United States as a young adult and fell into a life of criminal activity during our city’s booming methamphetamine trade.My aunts, uncles, five cousins, and grandparents shared the two remaining bedrooms.In total, there were thirteen people sharing a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home.It is important to note that diversity statements are truly optional, and not everyone should write one.Contrary to what you may have heard, it is not a missed opportunity to write more about yourself.But I still know what its like to feel insecure about where you come from and what you lack—it is something I will carry with me throughout my life and career.My education and career goals have been shaped by my background, and I will continue to aim high despite the challenges that may come my way.It was not uncommon for my neighborhood friends to have a drug abusing parent, a single parent household, alcoholic parents, or experience domestic violence.Even though my father’s addiction clouded his judgment, both he and my mother always warned me about the dangers of our neighborhood.