I remember graduating from Horace Mann Middle School in San Francisco (a school that no longer exists because of a lack of district funding), looking at the comments in my yearbook that summer, and feeling like there was a responsibility endowed in me. A lot of my schoolmates were already being funneled out from the academic route due to drugs, gang violence, familial economic issues, and deportations, so they expressed their admiration and hopes for me through comments like, “Don’t forget about us when you make it!” and “Don’t be a stranger in the hood after college.” Although heartwarming at the moment, I have been carrying those words on my shoulders ever since. Let’s face it; first-generation American-born Latinos with college degrees have many responsibilities. In the process of giving back, we soon realize that there are very few of us trying to outreach and so many in need of help.
In the article, “Hispanics with Academic Credentials Find Themselves Stretched Thin with Many Projects,” Lorena Oropeza, a Ph.D. graduate in history from Cornell University, recalls being heavily involved. It was not long after she began to work at the University of California, Davis, that she realized that there was a high “demand for her talent and skills outside of the classroom.” She remembers having to attend numerous Latino events in and out of campus, while still balancing her job as a professor and her personal life. It was overwhelming, she admits, but “she felt she was helping fill a void.”
For the full story: http://reachhispanic.com/2013/10/23/latino-professionals-lifting-younger-generations/