MY STORY: My parents were born and raised in a small village in the Dominican Republic named Jaiqui Picado; a village so small that not even a Google Search could provide you with information on it. The nearest school was about 4 miles away and it took nearly two hours to reach by foot. With the only source of education so far away, and large family incomes being little to non-existent, most children were not able to attend or permitted by their family to continue. My father went as far as fifth grade before being forced to work on the plantations, and my mother was only able to reach her sophomore year of high school. Their inability to receive a good education and the sacrifice they made to come to this country, continues to be a big motivating factor for me to excel in school and capitalize on an opportunity that was not afforded to them.