BTSV Class of 2018 - UC riverside

When I heard about Breakthrough, I was so happy. But when I saw the application to get in, that happiness turned to worry. I remember staring at the packet for a week because I thought there was no point -- no chance I'd be accepted. 

I think that self-doubt came from my surroundings. Nobody in my family has been to college. We didn't sit around the kitchen table and talk about it like other families, and I never heard my parents reminisce about fond memories in school. My mom didn't finish high school and my dad says he is still amazed that he was able to graduate 12th grade.

Being in Breakthrough has changed my whole family. It's like I've started a chain reaction -- my success is the catalyst for their success. Our dreams are bigger, and we work really hard, together. Every night my brothers and I do our homework, and we talk about school. It's so much pressure to be their role model, but I don't mind because my academic success is bringing us closer as a family.

I laugh at the nerdy arguments we have now, like when my brother disagreed with how I wrote my hypothesis for a science experiment. Even my little seven-year-old brother says things like, "I have a growth mindset!" I never would have imagined this in a million years. Home is a happy place now because our college dreams are at the center of it all.