The summer is well under way, and we have been so busy around these parts. Enjoying the sunshine, concerts at the park, camping, leading youth group, digging our feet into the sand, and at the very beginning of the summer attending graduations. My younger sister graduated from Oregon State University. To many this accomplishment is a big deal, but to me this is a HUGE deal.
In 1991 we moved to the United States from Mexico. We moved for the same reasons many people immigrate to this country: to seek a better life. A better life means different things to different people. To my parents it meant proving us with safe housing and being able to feed us and clothe us. They weren't looking to get rich, to live this amazing "american" dream. They just wanted us to be together, to be safe and healthy.
As it happens my sisters and I grew up, we developed our own dreams and hopes. We adapted to life in this country, but we also kept many of the values our parents passed on to us.
Part of our personal development involved higher education. All three of us now have a Bachelor's degree, and while we each may have slightly different reasons for pursuing a degree, I am confident there are underlying similarities. We understand the sacrifices our elders have made to bring us to this country, we understand the importance of making a positive impact in our world and we want to provide our own families a better life.
My sister is now a college graduate. She faced much adversity to get to this point, for reasons of personal choice but also because we are in fact the first generation to go to college. We had no one to set a path before us, we had to carve it out on our own.
And in the past few years I have seen her flourish into an amazing person, into a woman of character, into a dedicated student, into a charing mother.
She has become an example to her daughter and to the people around her. She has embraced this part of the "american dream" and I am confident that she will make our world a better place.
And while a college degree is a great accomplishment its not just the certificate and the potential job opportunities that matter the most. I've learned that higher education is so significant in opening up our minds and giving us a perspective to what our place in this universe really is. It helps us understand how much we are a part of a bigger story, that it is our responsibility to reach out to those who are less privileged, to those who are in need. It helps us see that we are responsible to make this "American Dream" really mean something.
But to achieve all of this significant life changing stuff you need to be a little silly. So here is a little silliness for y'all!