Interview for National Hispanic Heritage Month

This interview is to give a small perspective, of the many, for National Hispanic Heritage Month. The interviewee has decided to be anonymous but has allowed the following information to be known: 18-year-old, Hispanic, first-generation student, attends Grand Canyon University and is DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).  


Q: What is your current major? What do you plan to do with your degree? 

A: Currently, my major is pre-med, and I hope that I can get into medical school to specialize in trauma surgery or cardio. 


Q: What do you think is the best and worst part about being Hispanic? 

A: The best part about being Hispanic is the culture. As a whole, we are a united group. We truly get to celebrate such a beautiful culture. However, the culture receives a lot of negative perspectives. We deal with the consequences of racial discrimination, mostly here in the United States, so I think that’s one of the worst things because at the same time I want to celebrate my culture and celebrate who I am, but on the other hand, I’ve always felt like I’ve had to hide who I am. 


Q: How does it feel to be a first-generation student? What challenges have you faced?

A: It makes me feel a little nervous, cause there’s a lot of responsibility and expectations on me. I have to set the example for my sister who is going to come into college in 2 years so being the first one to graduate is very difficult and you don’t get a lot of guidance from your parents who are supposed to be your first person to go to whenever you have a question, but since they have no knowledge of what it’s like going to college, its very difficult for me to actually gain experience from them.  


Q: Has there ever been a moment when a person has stereotyped you?

A: Yes. One of the things I hear most often is “I didn’t expect you to be that smart”, because of who I am, and how I look. People, I guess, just expect us Hispanics to not be as intelligent or have many opportunities that allow us to be as intelligent as everyone else and so I feel that’s one of the stereotypes that has been one of the things I notice the most. People don’t expect me to have so much knowledge and be at the same pace as someone who has had way more opportunities than I have. 


Q: What is a Hispanic tradition you wish to pass down, that your parents have passed down to you?

A: One of them is either cooking or overall my ethics. As Hispanics, we are very family-oriented and for us its more about fitting into who we are as a person and making our family proud. I hope that I can instill the same type of ethics in my kids in the future and hope that they want to do what they’re doing because they love to do it and because they want to make themselves and their family proud.

Q: What do you think of the immigrant detaining camps by the border? 

A: It’s difficult to hear and see it, because coming from Mexico myself, being born there and coming here, I always think “that could’ve been me”, but there’s also in an indifference that has occurred in my life at this point. There are so many bad and negative things happening to Hispanics overall, that I’ve become indifferent to seeing some of these very awful things happening to us but it’s also something I’m just not going to pass over and not think about, it’s just that for the moment, I can’t do anything about it, it’s just really sad to know that you could have been in that same situation.


Q: What is something you feel people should be more aware of? 

A: Racial discrimination, people need to be aware that the things they say. Just because you’re in a free country that gives you your first amendment right to give your opinion, does not mean you should. I feel like if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. Just because you have the right to speak your mind, doesn’t mean you should. Racial discrimination is such a huge thing because there is a lot that happens behind words where your friend might make a tiny comment and make you feel uncomfortable about who you are and it goes unnoticed because they are living behind a curtain of, where they grew entitled, so it’s very difficult to feel comfortable in a country that’s not, supposedly, yours. 


Q: Is there anything you would change in your life at this moment? 

A: I wish I was in the situation where I didn’t have to work and go to school, because of my family coming from Mexico, and being poor here and not being able to use a lot of resources, I’ve had to be responsible for everything that is my expenses, school, and everything. Even with my scholarship, I still have to pay a lot of my stuff and that’s one of the ethics that Hispanics families try to integrate into their kids, is that you need to gain some responsibility from a very young age. Mostly if you come to the United States a lot of the Hispanics families try to go unnoticed in this country and when doing that, they’re also working very hard for all their dreams, and they want the same things for their kids so I just wished I didn’t have to work so hard and I had the same opportunity as anyone else who are getting to just come to college and their parents are paying it all for them.