Tearing Down the Wall

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a knack for discovery as long as it was somehow related to video games or technology. If I didn’t know something, I needed to find out and if I didn’t, it would kill me. If I stopped working on something during the day, I would think about troubleshooting the issue during my sleep or for days on end. There were also times when I would stay up all night just to circumvent a virus on my computer or lose hours of sleep when I hacked a Nintendo Wii for the first time. There is no doubt about it, I love technology.

I’ve always been told that I am thinker and a tinkerer, which is why nearly 10 years after graduating high school; I made the biggest decision of my life. In 2011, I decided to go college. Many have asked me, “Why don’t you back to school? ” The truth is that I would’ve loved to go right after graduating from high school but life threw me a curve ball. During my senior year, my mother and step-father split up. My mother, a housewife who hadn’t work for nearly six years after meeting my step-father, made me assume she became accustomed to it.

My mother was able to somehow support my sisters and I because of a settlement she won, but alas nothing lasts forever. I finally graduated high school expecting all of us to move into a Eduardo B. Morillo-Perez 2 new place while my mother and I both worked, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. We moved alright but my things went to a room and the rest of the contents of our three bedroom apartment went into storage. I was so confused and hadn’t a clue of what was going on. Soon enough, she mentioned something that I never would’ve expected. “Everything is packed and ready to go. We are all going back to Ecuador” she said.

I refused, thus leaving me here with my belongings, having to fend for myself. I now lost the luxury of slacking off. I had to work any job available just so I could pay the rent and not starve. I didn’t have mom or dad to ask for money. I had to put up with nasty customers at a fast food restaurant and being taken advantage by other co-workers because I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. I have tried to go back to school and went thought the proper protocols of filling out forms, writing essays, going on interviews but I could never get in without having to pay for everything out of pocket.

The biggest hurdle was financial-aid. Due to the fact that I was of certain age, I was still considered a dependent and I had to provide my mother’s tax information. The only way I could have that waived was if I was married. It was then when I grew cold, bitter and blamed my mother for all my setbacks. I felt lost and alone. I felt like I had no one to turn to. As years flew by, I started noticing that I was using my mother’s negligence and lack of absence as a crutch, hindering my progress the entire time. I am not a religious person, I never was, but somehow I always thought certain things happen for a reason.

In 2009, I got reacquainted with an old flame from high school. We soon began to catch up on things from the past and soon

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enough she put the moves on me and the Eduardo B. Morillo-Perez 3 rest is history. I can honestly say that she is the sole reason I decided to back to school despite what anyone told me. When Olivia first met me again for the first time, I was living by myself in a room while working a mundane retail job at the airport. Fast forward nearly four years later and you now have a second-year computer science major with a 3. 5 GPA who has his own car and is well on his way to work on the next gadget or program.

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