Jesus Alvarez, a 2019 Pedrozzi Scholar, shares some of his experiences and lessons learned as a first generation college student at Las Positas College:

“I am currently attending Las Positas Community College in Livermore, California. I am being blessed to have this financial assistance guiding me through college and helping me strive for success. I am a first generation college attendee and I am in the most hopeful mindset to be successful in life. I was born in Zamora, Michoacan de Ocampo, Mexico and migrated here at just one year old. As many may already assume, yes I crossed the border illegally dressed in a dress pretending to be my cousin. Nowadays, when we talk about that story we do not often refer to the cold bucket showers at the back of the house, we do not refer to the nights where bread was the only thing we barely had to eat, we do not even talk about the stress and worry of being deported and have my family taken apart and accused of wanting a better life. We refer to the hilarious dance and my own stubbornness to not remove the dress. It was all too beautiful. Of course, we voluntarily returned and my Father Jesus Alvarez being legal started the process for my mother and I to return to the States to chase the dream of America. I am humbled to even be in the same platform as any of my colleges, my scholars, even before the person reading this simple story. Because that is what I am striving for. A simple and straight forward story of a young man who came from nothing and was able to accomplish fluent speaking of three foreign languages, a grant to go to college, and soon I hope to accomplish the establishment of a life long career in Business to provide for myself, my family, and my great grand kids.I am now am American Citizen living in the middle class bracket of society. It really does help to have these beautiful sites all around, distracting from the worry that perhaps tomorrow it will be my own doing that makes all the sacrifices in vain. Although I am looking forward to fail, it does haunt me to think of everything that my parents have facilitated for me to attain to this idea of a better life. There is no going back and there is no days where I would rather be working on planning how to be a better employee I am only striving for success and to make the lives of the people around me better. This past scholarly year, I fell victim of a terrible depression. It was very different from the type of depressions you read in books where sadness is the major emotion that makes your day gray. I had it a little bit different, weather it was the uncertainty of my existence or my own fear of failure, there were a lot of emotions that clouded my perception of time of cause and effect and of my own set of values instating that I do not coward behind an improper mindset. However, I did. I destroyed my first year of college with the worry of a relationship not going the way that I had thought it would go. I let the worry of a loved one in the middle of a war against cancer distract me while I was naive not to acknowledge that they were going to win. I let my own emotions and questions of ” to be or not to be” cloud my vision of success and of a better life. I decided to let procrastination be fueled by all these different demons in my head. While I watched the world burn around me. Kobe Bryant passed away and it really put into perspective how short of a life we all have. How tomorrow can be your last breathe of fresh air right before you get hit by a truck and perish in the same instant. I watched riots and peaceful protest be tormented by a broken system. A system that I myself hope to understand without a biased and to flourish with. These emotions of constant uncertainty must be by product of a coming age period in everyone’s life. However, if this is to be a success story I am bound to tell you how I used all the odds against me in my favor. That is exactly what I did, I flourished upon the necessity of being trapped in my head through meditation and exercise. After about six months of not playing I finally let my friends help me out and started playing again. I am no Cristiano Ronaldo but today I am confident in my skills and on my performance when faced to another team on the team. I have thrived mentality through the art of soccer. I am a better person once I started to really analyze where I come from and the cause and effect that ties everything together. The truth is, one can not change the past nor certain events. It burden me to feel so out of control from my own life. Where I could not flourish in soccer, academically, or in friendships and relationships. It was my own fear of failing that kept me at rock bottom and then decided to flood this metaphorical hole I was in and drown me and my aspirations along with it. I am with a smile as my fingers hit the keyboard, to tell you the audience and anyone who is suffering from a mental cage acting as barrier to access your full potential, don’t fear failure. The only thing truly to fail is fear itself. Do not squander in the thoughts of trying to find every circumstance on which you fail. Look forward to failing, failing makes you knowledgeable when you take a certain route towards a dead end you then know that there is no route there and you learn from your mistakes. It is beautiful to fail. It is absolutely wonderful to know that you tried and you simply did not succeed in that particular instance. However, there is no rule book stating how many times in life you are allowed to attempt a certain goal, there is only your own mindset that tells you when or when not to do something. Dream big, Dream often, and look forward to Failure. My best advice to anyone going through tough times, there will always be a rainbow at the end of the storm. When the currents are high and the wind feels as though it is aiming to carry you into and abyss, realize that there is other options. That you are allowed to look for that rainbow of hope and happiness. Pain is what confirms you are alive, to feel is to live. I myself am looking forward to failing continuously as I slowly discover what else this beautiful life has for me. Much success to you all! Thank you!”