Listening to Our Families

Editor’s Note: Nestor Mota Rosales graduated from our Bridge to College program at El Dorado UHSD in October 2023. He was our parent speaker. His speech was so powerful and moving that we decided to share it with you.

We know that our children will face many challenges during their college years, but all of the parents in this room know how to overcome challenges. I am certain that with our help, our students will be able to overcome the obstacles that may be presented to them.

Good afternoon, my name is Nestor Mota Rosales.

I am part of a family of six; my wife Yolanda, four children – two boys and two girls-, and myself. My youngest one, Jesse, is the only one who still lives at home with us.

This is the first time I have taken a PIQE workshop; it is the second time for my wife.

I would like to thank Susana Mayfield; Nora Rodríguez, our facilitator; and Olivia Arreola, our coordinator.

Today, I want to talk to you about an idea; an idea so powerful that it can become an ideal. And I believe it is the reason why we are all here today, to learn how to instill the idea of higher education in our children.

In this workshop we have learned the steps to support our children in their academic journey. Now we know that there are tools within our reach that will help our students get into college and graduate.

Why do I believe that education is an idea? Because most of us did not have the opportunity to go to college, and therefore, the pursuit of higher education may seem like just a dream; but deep down we know that it can become a reality.

Why is education important? Beyond what we already know -having a better job, financial security, improved quality of life, a better future- there is also what the philosopher and educator, Paulo Freire, refers to as “Education: The Practice of Freedom”. Apart from imparting knowledge, education instills values, nurtures curiosity, and encourages critical thinking; it gives us the tools to better understand the world.

To paraphrase the great astronomer Carl Sagan, “The world is only as great as the knowledge we have of it.” Parents, get ready for our children’s world to be immense.

I am certain that many of our students will be among those creating important changes in our community, in our nation and in the world. They will be the doctors who will fight future pandemics, the engineers who will develop clean energy sources, the scientists who will provide solutions to our most complex problems, and the philosophers who will show us the way.

Parents, today we start to imagine a great future for our children! After all, what sets us apart from the rest of the species is the capacity to imagine.

It is about time we let go of the stigma that as Hispanic immigrants we are only qualified to offer ‘manual labor’ and start believing that we are also capable of a range of diverse talents and specialties.

Children you have within you the same strength of spirit as your mom and dad. Look at their story and find the motivation to achieve your goals. And, probably, in the near future one of you will be giving a speech in this school or in this city, not as a student or as a parent graduate, but as a congressman or congresswoman representing our district.

And that, my friends, is the IDEA.