I was about 6 or 7 years old I met Cesar Chavez in a small town in California but I remember it as if it was yesterday. My parents marched with him and often participated in events as migrant workers. I remember going to his office one day and I remembered the office being very small, musty and not very well decorated; however, it gave me the impression that it was all they needed in order to get what they needed to get done. He was so young back then and when I see pictures of him in his later years, I see a much seasoned and stronger man then when he started his journey.
Although, I was very young when my family was very involved with Cesar Chavez, I have always carried the respect for the struggle my parents and many other immigrants endured. Due to my parent’s immigrant status, I also experienced the hard labor of field work. I worked hard; however, I never felt I worked as hard as other immigrants, including my parents. I truly believed that Cesar Chavez had everything to do with that and he made the working conditions better for younger generations.
As I moved on through life, my goal has always been to make my parents proud and not let their struggle be in vein. After high school, I served my country as a member of the United States Air Force, I continued my education, and volunteered for good causes. One of my favorite volunteer jobs was visiting inner city high schools and talk about my family and our struggle. I also let the students know that it was organizations like UFW and Cesar Chavez that made a difference in how I became successful in life. I promote higher education and tell the students that no matter where they come from, they can achieve success. I tell them to fight smart and not let their parents’ struggle be for nothing. This is how we can pay them back—by becoming strong members of society and making a difference that counts.