My name is Nahúm, and I am 33 years old. I am from a little town in the rural México, where the only ones who have a reliable paycheck are the doctors, the teachers, and the municipality workers. I come from a low-income family who struggled to provide us food and give us an education. Both of my parents do not have an education, so they barely know how to read and write. While my father dedicated his life to harvesting corn in the fields, my mother dedicated hers to being a housewife and taking care of me and my siblings. I am so proud of my parents because they always kept us together as a family.
Back in Mexico, I completed high school, but I never got to attend college due to a lack of resources and employment. In those days, I always wanted to continue my studies, but that seemed to be a forgotten dream. It was because of these struggles that I bravely decided to immigrate alone to the United States at the age of 21 with no support. I ended up in Seattle and have been living here for about 12 years. Since moving to Seattle, I have lived alone and away from family. Maybe it is not that I already got used to the idea of living alone but rather to the realization that life is not perfect. Since I was young when I left home in search of new opportunities, I did not fully anticipate how much not knowing English and not having a Social Security Number would be a barrier. After I arrived here, I got a job in Auburn at McDonald’s, which helped me to meet my basic needs for a few years while living in Federal Way, and I used the bus to commute to Auburn. One day, a very nice and respectful old coworker told me:
“If you really want to do something in your life, leave this place, get an education, and look for a better job. Look at me, I have been working here for more than 20 years, and nothing has changed for good for me.”
Since that moment, I knew I had to do something different, so I moved to Seattle and continued to work at a different McDonalds. Here, I was determined to get back to school. I registered at Seattle Central College, and I completed my ESL and GED Diploma. However, when I hit the college level, I did not have an ID. I had already tried many times to get one, but I was always denied, so I just gave up for a few years, ending frustrated, disappointed, and sad. After I finished my ESL and GED, and because I did not have an ID, I completed my college degree online from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. In fact, I even got to take two semesters for a Bachelors’s degree in Political Sciences, which helped me improve my Spanish. Then, I returned to Seattle Central College and completed my AA Degree during the winter quarter of 2020.
Although it has been a long journey with ups and downs, I was finally able to achieve my goal of earning my college education. I am so happy and enthusiastic about continuing to move forward by transferring to the University of Washington for the upcoming fall quarter. I am planning to take steps towards a Master’s degree in international studies because I love social sciences. Once I complete my Master’s degree, I hope to work as a teacher. Thanks to getting an education, I have learned not only to speak and write in English but also in Spanish and French. I am so proud to be the first one in my family to get a college education.
Getting to this point in my life has not been easy. Because I am an undocumented student, I do not have access to employment, scholarships, or state and federal resources. In this sense, the SEA scholarship has been of great support in helping me accomplish my educational goals and meet my living expenses; otherwise, I would have dropped college a while ago. The SEA scholarship helps me pay for books, rent, food, utilities, phone service, and other related personal needs. This has really made a great difference in my life. Similarly, I would like to thank my Education Advocate, Hansell, the staff he works with, and in general the SEA Organization for the great support. Hansell has always been very supportive to me in proving me the scholarly tools and the financial resources needed so that I can stay focus on my education. Thank you very much.