Meet the Interviewees
Beatriz Aguilar (B.S. in Natural Sciences, Loyola Marymount University) is an accelerated math teacher at St. Vincent School in downtown Los Angeles, where she teaches fifth through eight grades. She also volunteers through Vincentian Service Corps West.
When I got into a university ... I guess I started like a new path for my family. And that was
another pressure on me, because I didn't want to mess up, since they were looking up to me, all my
sisters, my cousins, everyone, but that was also a motivation for me to keep going, and...
... So it's like from now on ... my little cousins are going to hate me or they're going to like me, 'cause they're like, "Because of you I have to go to college."
Esther Dougherty is a mostly retired teacher. At ninety-one years old, she still works as a substitute!
Andres Rico (B.A. in Political Science, Fresno State; J.D., University of California, Hasting College of the Law) is an attorney with his own practice in Sacramento.
"I've always taken a challenge.... When I got into law school and I went to San Francisco, I just drove up.... I didn't know exactly what was going to be happening there. I didn't understand any of that.... But I knew I was going to do it." Read more
Marisa Harrington (B.S. in Business Administration, CSU Bakersfield) works in marketing and promotions for the Kern County Airports Department, and is now pursuing an MBA at CSUB.
When I was in high school, I did want to pursue higher education because I would see the way my parents were struggling. It was difficult. Just the fact that my parents never got the opportunity, not even to go to kindergarten. They do not know how to read or write, so I was the translator. Read more
Laura Hasting (B.S. in Nursing, M.S. in Nursing, CSU Bakersfield) is a Nurse Practitioner.
"I think that I never wanted to work in the fields. I know that my parents were very adamant that they did not want me to go to high school. That was one of the big arguments because no one in my family had. I was the first one, a female to go to high school. And it was really hard for them to see that. They wanted me to graduate 8th grade and just go work in the fields, and not attend high school. So, I fought that." Read more
Carlos Mendoza-Bombela (B.S in Nursing, CSU Bakersfield) is a Registered Nurse and is now earning his M.S in Nursing, specializing in Women's Health Care, at CSU Fullerton.
When I was growing up .... they had a contest for the M&Ms company.... and on the
back of it said you must be a legal resident of the US ... to be a part of- to be in this
contest. And I remember growing up, kind of thinking about that, and saying, "So what,
I can't be in this contest, because I don't have any papers, 'cause I'm illegal." ....
You're not one of us kind of thing....
In high school, I was a 4.0 student. I'd never thought about college, 'cause who was gonna give me money? How am I going to get money to pay for it, right? Um, it wasn't until my counselor in high school asked me, "Where are you going to college?" I said, "College?" She's like, "You're a 4.0 student, you should at least apply to a college." Read more...
Ricardo Morales (B.A. in Criminal Justice, minor in sociology, CSUB) is a Youth Mentor Coordinator for a local nonprofit.
My dad always said ... "I want you to get an education so that you can choose a job that you want to have, not the job that you have to have." And I think that that’s why I decided to go to college Read more
Elizabeth Munoz Herrera (BA and MA in sociology, CSU Bakersfield), teaches U.S. government and social studies at Tierra Del Sol Continuation School in Bakersfield.
I worked my sophomore and junior year in the grapes. I noticed in the fields when the foreman started handing out the checks, he was handing them to the fathers in the families. And my father said, ‘No, the check belongs to her.’ And the other families sort of made fun of my father. And he said, ‘I should be laughing at you. You’re having your sons and daughters work, but you’re taking the money. What pride is there in that?’ Even though he was from Mexico, my father in his own way was a modern man. Read more
Connie Perez (B.S. in Business Administration, Concentration in Accounting, CSU Bakersfield) is a C.P.A. and partner in the firm of Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corporation. She also serves on the State Lottery Commission, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown.
Sometimes when I think, especially of my life over the last couple of years, it’s a life that I never would have imagined living when I was a child [in the Woodville Labor Camp]. Ever. And it did all start with my education, and working at Brown, Armstrong and meeting different people from different parts of California, there and traveling because of work.… The first time I went to the beach I was 19 years old, which is, when you think about that now, it’s pretty tragic. ...And so it all started with me getting my college degree and being exposed to different people, different places. Read more.
Jesse Quintanilla (B.A. in Sociology, M.A. in Counseling Education, CSU Bakersfield) is Director of the Educational Talent Search Program at CSUB
Juanita Sanchez (B.A. in Liberal Studies and Teaching Credential, CSU Bakersfield; M.A. in Educational Administration) is the principal of Noble Elementary School in Bakersfield.
I had ... a younger sister, she was just like 2. She would be the water girl and she would carry the water up the rows you know, so that we would have water when we needed it. My younger brother, who was maybe 4, he would spread the paper. So, he was the paperboy. And he would move up the rows and put the paper down because ... if you couldn't pick, you had to do something. So we had the water girl, and paperboy. And everybody else picked.