The world is full of people who look at her family and immediately think “illegal immigrants,” incoming Georgetown University student Carolina Sosa writes in her college essay, which she recently shared with The New York Times.
The essay chronicles the difficulties Sosa faces in trying to help her parents. In a standout section, Sosa describes how she “sadly understood” why her father couldn’t get a job at a convenience store — and then lied to him to hide the real reason why he wasn’t hired.
Dave, the chubby convenience store cashier who interviewed Sosa’s father, told her, “Listen, girl. He’s over 60 and speaks no English. There is no way we would hire him.” However, Sosa told her father that Dave had just remembered the store had actually hired someone for the open position the day before.
Sosa elaborates on how hard the job hunt has been for her and her parents:
Job searching is difficult for everyone, but in a world full of Daves, it’s almost impossible. Daves are people who look at my family and immediately think less of us. They think illegal, poor and uneducated. Daves never allow my dad to pass the first round of job applications. Daves watch like hawks as my brother and I enter stores. Daves inconsiderately correct my mother’s grammar. Because there are Daves in the world, I have become a protector for my family. I excuse their behaviour as just being a “typical American.” I convince my mother that they are only staring at her lovely new purse. I convince my dad they are only shouting about store sales to us. Aside from being a protector, I am also an advocate. As an advocate, I make sure my family is never taken advantage of. I am always looking out for scams and discrepancies. I am the one asking the questions when we buy or sell a car. I make sure all details are discussed and no specifics are left unanswered.
Sosa also touches on the benefits of growing up in America.
“From caring public school teachers to subsidized lunches, the United States has put me on a path to success,” she writes. “Undoubtedly this path wasn’t always paved, but rugged and relentless feet have carried me along.”
Currently a student at Westfield High School in Centreville, Virginia, Carolina Sosa will attend Georgetown in the fall, where she plans to study public service, politics, or diplomacy. You can read her full college essay at The New York Times.
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