Latino Giant of The Week: Darlene Reyes

Tú educación es la clave para tu futuro y tu éxito, y nadie te la puede quitar [Education is the key to your future, your success and no one can take that away from you]” Those are the motivating and encouraging words my mother constantly reminds me of.

As a first generation high school graduate and college student, I knew that obtaining my Bachelor’s degree was something I had to do, not only for myself, but also to set an example for my three younger siblings. No matter how strenuous or how difficult it would be to go to a university several states away from my home state, Virginia, I knew that Northwestern University was the best decision for me.

Although it has put a strain on the relationship between my mother and I, as we are a team, her a single mother, and I her rock and co-parent to my siblings, I wouldn’t have it any other way. My mother wants me to become whatever my dreams are. My family and friends push me to make my dreams a reality.

I’ve been blessed and fortunate enough to be able to pursue a higher education and it has taught me so much about myself, about my culture, and about my community. An education unleashes and demonstrates the potential we have. It arms us with the tools and resources we need in the future.

Unfortunately, there are not enough Latinos in pursuit of higher education. “Education is the golden key that unlocks the potential of human growth” – Walter Reuther

Without it we have no way of determining how much potential we have. Don’t let your potential go to waste.  Seek to expand your potential and with it give back to your community to create opportunities for future generations. We are the future now, we can mold a better nation if we use the potential that we all have within us.

Darlene Reyes will be attending Northwestern University in the fall as a sophomore. She is double majoring in Linguistics and International Studies. Her interests include educational reform and human rights. Ultimately, she aspires to become an international human rights/civil rights lawyer focusing on Latin America.