2013 LaGuardia ASAP Leadership Team Member
Ever since I was little I have had a dream of becoming a doctor. I have always wanted to grow up and be successful in order to support my family like they have supported me over the years. I knew I had to go to college and there was never a doubt in my mind that I would go, but my senior year of high school really tested my desire to go to college. I’m the first one out of my siblings to go to college so I didn’t really have a lot of help figuring out how to apply, which as everyone knows is extremely stressful. The transition from high school to college is very hard and it helps to have someone there to support and guide you through the process. ASAP has been that support system for me.
Community college is usually not many people’s first choice. I had gotten accepted into four-year colleges and was excited to get away and start my college experience. That excitement completely went away once the tuition statements of the colleges I wanted to go to came in the mail. I never understood how expensive college was until then. I mean, how was I supposed to pay for college? My parents had told me they would support me but let’s face it, how were they going to help me out? My mom is currently still paying off her student loans, so no way was she going to pay mine. Parents always want you to go to college. They say “take advantage of the opportunities we didn’t have in our countries,” but they are not aware of the struggle it is to go to college. The green MetroCards you receive in high school? Say goodbye to them. I remember during the first few weeks of college I asked my father for five dollars for a MetroCard and he said, “Que Que, ahi no eso tan caro no puedes caminar.” From that point on I realized that I was now responsible for myself, and if I wanted to go to college I’d have to do it on my own.
I was very skeptical of going to a community college, but I’m so glad I did. Going from high school to college is a big step that most of us are not prepared for, and community college helps prepare you for it. My eyes were opened to all of this after meeting with my ASAP advisor for the first time. She really helped me through all the doubts and questions I had. I drove her crazy with all my questions, but it felt so comforting to have someone there to speak to who actually listened and knew exactly what I was going through, and not only that but had answers to many of my questions. I had the chance to go to John Jay College, but I choose community college because of ASAP. ASAP made college seem less scary. I see all my friends working late nights, returning home exhausted, and then having to wake up the next morning to go to class with absolutely no energy or motivation. That would have been me, but because of ASAP it wasn’t. I’m so fortunate that I didn’t have to worry about working to pay for school because ASAP provided me with the financial help I needed. And because I didn’t have to work, I was able to be fully devote myself to college and got a 4.0 my first semester, and I also got involved in student activities.
Your first year of college can be so confusing and frustrating. You have no idea what to do or where to go; you’re like a lost puppy. But with ASAP, you have a sense of comfort and confidence. They’re like a family you know you can count on. Knowing that there’s someone to help you and guide you through those difficult times in college really makes all the difference. ASAP has prepared me for not only my present journey through college but has given the confidence for my future journey. ASAP gives you that push you need, like training wheels on a bike when you are first learning to ride.