Ale G. Essay

Submitted By alecole
Words: 4129
Pages: 17

Alejandra Gaviria
PM Class

On December 20, 1989 I was born as Maria Alejandra Gutierrez Gaviria but here in America for the last 23 years I’ve been known as Alejandra Gutierrez. I was born in a small town in south part of New Jersey named Bridgeton and I was raised there until I was 19. For the first 11 years of my life I was taken care of by both my mother and father; both of whom were immigrants coming from Colombia. My parents were hard workers and they worked in factories for many years. When I was about one, my mother received her residency here and a few years later she became an American Citizen. After receiving her citizenship, she started the process of helping my father get his legal papers as well which in total took almost ten years to finally get. By the time I was about four years old, my mother became pregnant with my younger brother and a few months before giving birth she got married to my father. My mother gave birth to my little brother on October 24, 1993 and in doing so she injured her spine, causing her to not be able to breast feed him or even hold him. She became very ill and she was bed bound for many months. It was at this point in my life that I had to mature before my time and help out as much as I could. Growing up in a Colombian family I was structured to be very disciplined, organized and independent and with all of this happening so fast, I had to use what I had learned and apply it. I started helping out around the house, helping my mother as much as I could and I would help take care of the baby as my father worked. Both of my parents were very strict and my brother and I were raised as if we were living in Colombia so that we would appreciate all the opportunities we have here in America and so that we would remain humble where ever we went. As time went on my mother got better and she started working long hours in the factory again. By the time my brother was old enough to go to school, I was put in charge of both of us and our well being. I would have to wake us up, make breakfast, made sure we both got ready for school and caught the bus on time every day because if we ever missed a day of school or even accidentally missed the bus I would get in big trouble. After school my parents made sure my brother and I had enough to keep us busy after our homework until they reached home so that we wouldn’t be tempted to go outside or do anything out of curiosity. As I grew up, I compared myself to other kids my age that had the latest sneakers and new name brand clothes while I wore hand-me-downs from my male cousins or while other kids got to watch television during the week I had to read Spanish stories and write summaries in Spanish to keep my language intact and know how to speak it, read it and write it. During the week or during summer breaks, I would have to stay home cleaning and taking care of my younger brother while the neighborhood kids got to play outside or were at summer camps. Now as I look back at all that I had went through, I realize that it was the best my parents could do at the time and in the end it taught me how to be responsible, have good work ethics and how to prioritize my time. My escape from all of this maturing came twice or three times a week when I had either soccer practice or a soccer game. This was the time for me to feel like I had some type of freedom and for many years of my life this was motivation that kept me feeling normal. I was a very competitive and aggressive athlete. There were other activities my parents tried to put me in such as modeling, dancing, and other girly things but since I grew up around my male cousins and brother, I had to be tough like them and I enjoyed playing all the sports they did. As time went on, sports went from being a hobby to being my incentive in doing great in school to show people that athletes don’t have to be jocks, they can be student athletes. Having perfect