Luis Fuentes

Luis Fuentes


Bronx Community College


My name is Luis Felipe Fuentes III. I was born and raised in Bronx New York. My neighborhood is not what you would call ideal. I have grown up around some of the most mischievous people known to men. Most of the people from my neighborhood are on welfare or "hustle" and participate in illegal activities to get by. My family and other influential peers are the only reason why I am alive to tell my story.

Courage and knowledge are two family values that I was brought up on and try to practice every day. My mother, who has also been a father figure, has shown me how to be a man. It is under her tutelage that I have learned how to support a family. My mother, like so many, was a single parent and the breadwinner of our family. It has always been she who pushed me to value education. She would say things like "I don't give birth to stupid kids" to remind me I was not dumb, but at times lacked focus. Even when the road was uncertain and it appeared that I might be straying from my course, my mother never hesitated to remind me that she was not going to let me fail. My grandmother, who is the strongest female I have ever met, taught me to value and understand courage. She would always tell me "if you want something take it" and "fear is the cousin of failure"--statements I took to heart. These two people shaped my thinking and allowed me to open my eyes to the realities of the world.

These values were instilled in me and helped in my education. I learned to value school even though at times it could be frustrating. I was never allowed to fail because my family would not accept failure. Unlike some families plagued by poverty and societal ills produced by the ghetto, we were able to overcome. We did not have a lot, but we always had enough. We stood together and protected our own. Due to these positive values and having two supportive figures in my life, I was able to finish high school. With New York's 50 percent dropout rate I find myself blessed to do what many others could not. When the road was hard I stood up and handled the hardships. It was in high school that I found out what I wanted to do with my life. Education is the foundation to any great society and without it, its citizens are lost and their culture worthless. This is why I want to be a history teacher.

I want to be a teacher because I want to mold the minds of future thinkers who will shape the world long after I am gone. ASAP is allowing me to do this. ASAP's small class sizes help me better access the professor. The free laptops allow me to do my work anywhere and at anytime. It's hard to go through college without a computer and the free laptop allows me to complete work in a timely fashion. It also comes in handy when a long paper is due and there is only one night left to add the finishing touches. In addition, not having to purchase any textbooks for my classes greatly helps. This year my books came up to almost 500 dollars. This is money I do not have. Thanks to ASAP, I was able to get these expensive books for free.

My goal to be a teacher will be met. I will accomplish this as I have accomplished other things. In this long and difficult quest I will need all the help I can get. ASAP has given me the tools to succeed. The ASAP program and its counselors provide me with direction to navigate through obstacles. It is ASAP and its many helping hands that will allow others like me to get though college. With so many failing, I know I will stand strong because I posses courage and knowledge--and I have the support of the ASAP program.



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