Now my father rents a restaurant business in Pilsen, a well-known neighborhood
in Chicago. I have worked with him since I was 13 and so have my sister and brother.
The business has given us so much. My father pays so many taxes because he owns
a small business. He contributes so much to the economy even though he is not
a legal resident of the United States. His social security number is his legal
But I feel bad for my father because he can't go to Mexico and
see his family. My grandfather died last year and my sister had to go to represent
my father. It is almost like living in a golden cage. We have everything here.
We just can't leave the cage, because if we leave we can't come back.
as a waitress at the restaurant I see so many teenagers throw their life away.
Some girls are so young and are having babies and marrying gang members. I felt
so bad and angry. They were born in this country and yet they never bothered to
continue going to school, plus they would walk into the restaurant and treat me
as their servant.
I was so disgusted with them. Here I was working during
the weekends and going to school on weekdays. They did nothing but live off the
government. I wish I had the help from the government to go to school. But I also
felt I could not continue to hurt myself by becoming frustrated over my situation.
I decided to work hard and just keep going. I received a lot of moral support
by my parents and by some teachers as well.
I graduated from high school
as a member of the national honors society. I was always very active in clubs
and after school activities. I loved high school, and sometimes wish it had never
By fall 2000, after some registration difficulties, I was taking
basic classes at a city college, which for me was so wonderful. Hopefully by the
end of the fall 2003 semester I will complete an associate degree in commercial
Still my fears are not over, because I can not work legally. I really
want something else for me.