My name is Ricardo Borjas. I was born in Lima, Peru. I am 18 years old. If you ask anybody from Peru who lives here, about how Peru is, they will tell you that it is a beautiful country with nice people and delicious food. And this is very true, but what they will never tell you is the lack of opportunities that there is.
And this is the reason me and my parents came to the US. We arrived here with a goal–that was to have a better life than we had back in Peru, to achieve a better future. I will never forget the day that we arrived, because it was the day that my whole life turned upside down. As soon as I landed, I realized that I wasn’t in my country any more. The place was different, the people were different, the environment was different, the culture, the language the ideals; everything was different.
And It was at that moment when I realized that in order to succeed I was going to have to learn English. The struggle with the lack of English started when I began high school. It was really different, I felt lost, but everybody told me I was going to adapt really fast, but I was terrified.
As time passed things started to get worse. A group of students started to pick on me. I started to suffer from bullying. They laughed and made fun of me, hid my books, and called me out by names. And it affected me, because it did not only make me doubt myself but it made me not believe in the people that wanted to help me. But without the help of my parents I wouldn’t have been able to pass through that time of my life. They made me realize what I was capable of doing and what I was really worth. Since that moment I realized that the best way for me to prove what I was capable of, was by learning English. and also that way help my family with the language barrier.
I studied English day and night, which paid off because I was able to pass all the ESL classes in only 2 semesters, and join regular English classes by my senior year. At the end it all paid off, I was able to graduate as an honor student with two awards, one of them being the President Award of Excellence for keeping a 3.86 GPA. Now I realize none of the efforts my family and I did to get where I am right now were in vain.
I now go to Ohlone College I am a Puentista and study computer science. My life hasn’t been easy but with the help of great people, I was able to pass through every barrier. And I’m not trying to stop right here. I want to be a professional and one day be respected by everybody.