Felipe Cruz paves his way as a first-generation college student

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Photo by Angela Cruz

Felipe Cruz (12) embraces his mother and siblings as he hopes to be their greatest role model.

Story by Cristina Rosas, Staff Writer

     First generation college student, Felipe Cruz (12) has paved the way for his siblings through his unparalleled commitment and passionate demeanor. 

   “My high school experience has definitely been a challenge mainly because of the workload that I took; taking a larger amount of AP and honors classes can be very stressful because I personally, was going to sleep around 1 a.m. or not sleeping at all to finish homework and study,” Cruz said.

   As a brother to two younger siblings, Cruz works to let them see his growth through new experiences. He hopes they can realize that the struggles he endured are worthwhile.

My parent’s support has been my biggest motivation to continue to do my best both academically and as a person. They have always been there for me, sacrificing many hours of work in order to be able to pay bills. I value their efforts, and I want to be able to bring them up from this misfortune they have to go through. I owe everything to them,”

— Felipe Cruz

   “My parent’s support has been my biggest motivation to continue to do my best both academically and as a person. They have always been there for me, sacrificing many hours of work in order to be able to pay bills. I value their efforts, and I want to be able to bring them up from this misfortune they have to go through. I owe everything to them,” Cruz said.

    Cruz has received three consecutive AVID Outstanding Volunteer awards and a scholarship from Carson Fund Scholars, for which he was the only junior representing the school. Despite all his recognition, he has learned to deal with rejection.

   “Although, yesrejection does hurtI would say I can handle it. I got rejected from one scholarship my sophomore year and it was during the final round, but I learned to improve my interviewing skills and communication; it allowed me to win a scholarship the following year. I know that college rejection is to come, and I feel ready for them because even if I don’t get accepted into my dream school, I have back-up schools,” Cruz said.    

   Despite the stress, the challenges Cruz has faced have helped him believe in himself and grow in bravery. Felipe’s father has influenced his goals, and he plans to follow in his father’s footsteps by becoming a business administrator and ultimately starting his own business.

   “My background may not be ideal, but I know that I am able to succeed if, like my mom says: ‘le hecho ganas.’ If you have the willpower to do it, you can do it,” Cruz said.