My name is Lided Villanueva, my major is liberal arts at Bronx Community College in New York city. I am a first-generation college student and I immigrated from Dominican Republic(DR) in 2009.
As soon as I came to the United States, I started to study English at a New York language center in the Bronx because Spanish is my first language. Then I switched to take ESL (English as Second Language) classes at Bronx Community College. While taking the ESL classes, I was also working at Brooklyn which was a 2hr commute from home. I used to wake up at 3:30am because I had to work between 6:00am to 3:30pm then take the train from work to my ESL classes in the evening.
Before immigrating, just like any other person that has not travelled to the United States, I had a different mentality. From experience, I realized that one must study and work hard to get money. Even though a person must cater for his or her own responsibilities, sometimes, there are the responsibilities of others that needs to be taken care of at home. The first few years that I spent in the United States was rough and I had to quickly open my eyes to the reality here.
A memorable event was when I fell asleep on my way from work to class. I woke up when I heard the train announcer saying, “This is the last stop on this train.” I was confused and it was the first time that I went to the last stop of that train. I was lucky that there was another train coming downtown (the opposite direction), so I able to resume class early enough. After a while, because of personal reasons I stopped taking the ESL classes and I also stopped working at Brooklyn.
In 2014, I began to attend the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP): an intensive class of 25 hours per week and 5 hours per day. The CLIP prepared me to be a successful student at Bronx Community College. I take my classes in the morning, then work on campus as a Peer Mentor for Freshman Students later in the day. Because I love languages, I plan to get masters in Bi-lingual education and I will teach languages in the future.
I speak Spanish and English. I am taking a second Italian class and next semester, I will be taking a French class. My mother has been my support system throughout these experiences. She means everything to me because she always strives to provide for me even when she has nothing.