When I first read this prompt I was stumped on what to do. To be honest, I was supposed to complete this five days ago but kept pushing it further and further into the week. I thought about who I should talk about very hard. When I think about leaders that deserve recognition, I think about my father, my mother, and my two older sisters. All of them have a thankless job, being a parent.
My mother and father come from the Dominican Republic and are my biggest influences. I have talked extensively in this program about how much family has affected me and changed me. I never truly acknowledged how much they’ve done for me in my life. They are the ones I listened to when I wanted to learn Spanish by eavesdropping into their conversations and arguments. I used to think what I got from my father was a bad temper, it was really passion. I used to think that I got my complexion from my mother, but it was my heart that I got. These two people with no education past high school always pushed me to be better each day I woke up. My parents have the thankless job of raising me while being kids themselves really. In a new country, with new struggles, and just one boy with two daughters to raise. They were hard are me a lot, but life was hard on them. I am grateful for the things they have given me, especially those I used to resent. I used to resent my stern face and demeanor, but I embrace it. I am a reflection of two hard-working parents from the Dominican Republic who worked to make sure I had it better than they did.
This is where my sisters come in. They were my parents when our parents were working for hours and hours. They were babies themselves raising another. They came to this country knowing no English at 10 and 7 years old respectively. They taught me how to be honest, thoughtful, and humble as well. I was treated better at times because I was the baby and I understand that gets frustrating. They never hated me for it and always reminded me that I am fortunate for the life I have.
I thank my family for making me a person with compassion and dedication. I thank them every day by paying it all forward any way I can.