Immigrant student leaves family for better life in U.S.

July 12, 2018
“From the first day I met him, he had that something special that not a lot of kids have. He is a worker. He just has this desire to learn and to improve. And he’s got the immigrant hunger. Where I think he’s seen how hard life can be and he sees education as his way out.” - San Benito High teacher, Carissa Alvarez At the age of fourteen, Rolando left his family and left his life in Guatemala for better opportunities in the United States. “I came here with a dream,” Rolando said. “And to be somewhere in life. Leaving my family, I wish I could have them with me here. Supporting me. Giving me love that most of the kids need.” Rolando made the trek from Guatemala to California with his grandfather before eventually landing in the small community of Palcines where he now lives with his uncle. He immersed himself in both work and school. He spent his mornings working in the fields and his nights in the classroom where he met San Benito High teacher Carissa Alvarez. “He’s the kid that’s gonna roll with the adversity and he’s going to overcome,” Alvarez said. “Because it’s just who he is. He’s not going to take no for an answer. He’s just gonna keep pushing.”
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