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Master’s Counseling, 1st Generation Immigrant Latina

July 26, 2015

Now 27 years old, I am pleased that, while I was born in Chicago, my parents took me back to Mexico at the age of 2 and we stayed there until I turned 8, before moving back to Illinois. This not only facilitated my becoming completely bilingual but also completely bicultural, as Mexican as I am American, and this is central to my professional identity and aspirations.

Throughout my first two years of school in America, repeating the second grade and through the end of third grade, I had an ESL teacher who helped me to catch up with the rest of the class in English. This experience will always be with me and provides me with special empathy and understanding of the great challenges confronting immigrant children. Most recently, my little brother who is in the 5th grade has been the victim of bullying. The school counselor has been extremely helpful and I greatly admire her dedication and her passion for the well being of the children. She has inspired me as a role model.

A Latina, a first generation immigrant, Mexican-American woman, I am the only member of my family to graduate from college. Very passionate about social justice, I decided to major in Criminal Justice at the University of XXXX and graduated in 2010 and I had the special privilege of assisting Professor XXXX with the creation of a new class called “Latinos/as and the Law.” When I took the class during my last semester, we were split into groups and each group worked/volunteered with an organization that helped Latinos/as. My group worked with Voces de la Frontera (Voices from the Border) in XXXX Wisconsin. Twice a week we would go during class time to see what they need help with; we called people in the community to let them know about upcoming events and helped to distribute their newspaper around XXXX. We also helped Voces de la Frontera organize the local May 1st immigration marches.

I have spent the past few years working mostly in sales. This experience has enhanced my bilingual skills as I have worked at least as much if not more in Spanish than I in English, and I have also learned a great deal about the technology of the workplace, information systems, networking, etc. Now, however, I yearn to return to a career helping others, serving as their advocate, empowering them towards success. I look back fondly to my internship with the Probation Center of XXXX County and reflect on how much joy I found serving as an advocate for offenders, going to court with them and following up on their cases. This position served to open my eyes to the great need to protect youth not only from drugs and crime, but also from the justice system itself. I felt that my contribution was especially valuable in the case of those offenders who spoke very little English.

I spend my early years living in a small town in Mexico where I attended school through the second grade. My parents grew up very poor and were never able to finish school. Thus, they set out to make education possible for their children so that they could have a better life. Our journey back to America was not easy; it took them days to cross the border undocumented and they had to endure many challenges.  It is because of the great sacrifice and enormous effort made by my parents that I am so determined to succeed, and to attain not only the first college degree in the family but the first professional degree as well.

I am convinced that The XXXX School of Professional Psychology is the program for which I am the best fit and will be best able to excel. Your location is perfect, since your campus is in the heart of XXXX and XXXX stands at the center my heart.  I am ready to give my full time and attention to your Master’s Program in Counseling because I feel that this is the area in which I will be able to make the greatest contribution to my people, the immigrant Latino community.

I have been inspired to study counseling partly as a result of my volunteer work with immigrants, helping them to learn English and complete necessary paper work has convinced me that there is a great need for professional counselors to serve this group. I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished program.

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