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Rachell

Age 18, Boyle Heights

I grew up in Compton and South Central. These communities are low-income, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have potential. They just aren’t offered the same opportunities.
Youth in these communities need mentors – someone who says I believe in you, which is powerful for young people who have never heard that before.

Youth in my community need someone who says I believe in you.

I was depressed and suicidal throughout middle school and high school. I didn’t have much self-worth and felt I wouldn’t be successful in the world. College was seen as a measure of success, but I didn’t think I could get there because I was street smart, not book smart.

I’m the first person in my family to go to college.

When I joined Legacy LA I met a mentor with a similar background as mine, so she was able to help me see my full potential. Whereas before I felt alone, at Legacy I found community and a new way of finding my place in the world. Legacy helped me with the entire college application process, and now I’m the first person in my family to go to college.

I want to fight against a system that makes it harder for people like me to succeed.

Because my mom is an immigrant, my greatest dream is for her to see her children succeed. It must have been so hard for her to come to a foreign country with children to take care of, and no one to fend for her. Her work and sacrifice should be worth something in the end. I want to fight against a system that makes it harder for people like us to succeed. I want to be able to say not that “I made it” but that “we made it.”

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