Bundle of Joy

Queiri Rubi

Being the daughter of a single mother is a blessing in disguise. It taught me to be the bigger person literally. I am the oldest daughter and first-generation daughter to be going through high school. I’ve had to grow up at a rapid pace. It’s been a challenging task, not having the chance to take a stroll at a nearby beach, unable to make family vacations a form of reality, nor being able to wake up Christmas morning with toys “Santa” has brought. Most of my childhood was spent in and out of babysitters, constantly rushing, and messy bedtime schedules. My mom worked multiple jobs and gave herself too much than she could handle. These jobs were around the clock. At times my mom came home to sleep for two hours to wake up and go to her day job, which varied given the day and time. Some days it would be housecleaning, and other days was spent working at a factory.

This constant hustle played a toll on my mother. I could practically feel her anxious thoughts, I could physically see the wrinkles that framed her dull/heavy brown eyes, and recognized the symptoms of burnout. But no matter what happened, my mom kept going. She did not stop but made sure to keep us fed, clothed, and, most importantly, protected. My mom knew the responsibility she withheld and did not stop.

While she was working to maintain a roof above our heads, I worked to help keep my grades aloft while also managing my sister’s boisterous personality. My sister wasn’t the easiest to stay content, but I tried my best. At this time, we were living in my aunts’ garage. You can only imagine the space that was available to play or sleep with but, that was the place that made me realize many aspects of life. In that garage, I learned why we must pay rent the first day of every month, why every product we buy is not the exact price that was stated but, most importantly, I learned how expensive college is. I was an elementary student learning about the expenses of life. I was in fifth grade but, utilizing used school supplies, buying necessary supplies to save money.
When buying food, I made sure to keep my wondering eye at bay, especially at the candy aisle. Christmas was not spent with lavish goods but rather in harmony. This was my mindset growing up, always promising my sister illusions of the imagination to stop her from throwing tantrums. I did the best I could to save the little money that my mom could make.

Before the time I became of age to be eligible to work, my mom took me to her jobs, which included housecleaning, a public transportation company to transport the elderly, the AUX factory, and the paper factory. My mom took me to these jobs not because she wanted to, but because I begged her to. I desired to work, to help my mom, and when she finally gave in, she took me to a few of her jobs and through multiple application processes. I became useful because my mom was not fluent in English, but I was also able to experience firsthand the difficulties she must face. I was at a young age, but this only opened my eyes even more to reality.

Now I am an 11th- grade student. I’m no longer living in that grimy garage but in a real house. My mom achieved the American dream of buying the dream home and dream car. I have been working since the age of 14. My current job is with my mom cleaning houses. I’ve been working with my mom for three years now. I have also worked in the school as a custodian. I am an athlete I, have been playing tennis, fencing, and track and field. I also joined many clubs and volunteer as much as I can. I take honor classes in multiple subject areas. I hope to achieve a higher GPA rather than the 3.7 I have now while building my resume.

My dream is to become a business student at the University of NYU. It sounds farfetched, but I am taking many opportunities to reach this unwinding path of possibilities. I’m a member of my school’s DECA team and qualified for regionals, currently applying for a position within the DECA team, and enrolled in an entrepreneurship course, and staying educated on the stock market, politics,and side hustles for teens, from mentors online and reading books. In the upcoming years, I hope to reach farther into my future taking business classes and internships. I want to take business to a significant level as the years progresses. I aspire to make my dreams a reality, just as my mom did. A scholarship would bring me a step closer would make the effort one puts in feel worthwhile, like a blessing in disguise.

(Valerie Fuentes)