Congratulations to Ximena Martinez Segoviano '23, the first place winner in Conexión Américas high school essay contest, and to Kimberly Orellana '24 who was recognized as one of six impressive essayists.
By Jeff Edmonds, HS Academic Dean
On Thursday, Sept. 23, Conexión Américas announced Ximena Martinez Segoviano '23 as the winner of its high school essay contest based on the prompt "My Hispanic Roots, My American Dream." A few weeks earlier, Ximena received an email that told her she was a finalist in the contest and invited her to attend the organization's Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.
"Once I saw an email from Conexión Américas I started getting nervous, and when I opened it and saw that I was a finalist I was shocked for a solid second and then it turned into happiness," Ximena shared. "My immediate reaction was to show it to my parents, and seeing how proud they got was probably one of the best things I've ever felt before."
An excerpt from Ximena's first place essay on her father's role in her life can be found below:
As I continue to grow and mature I take in more of [my father’s] wisdom and put it into my own life. If there’s anything that he’s made sure to let me know it’s that none of the decisions I make should ever be solely for his sake. This is a problem that is rather common among first generation Mexican-Americans as we often put pressure on ourselves to overachieve just to make our parents proud and receive their acceptance. … My dad always tells me, “yo seguí por donde mis padres dejaron, y igualmente tu vas a seguir por tu propio camino con lo que te dejamos a ti. Lo que sea que decidas, siempre vamos a estar felices y te vamos a apoyar.” As of now, I’m still working on where I wish to go and what I want to do. There is still a whole world ahead of me, but with the valuable lessons I learned from my dear father I know that everything will turn out alright.
Kimberly Orellana '24 submitted an essay to the contest, as well, and was mentioned as one of six outstanding essayists. Below is an excerpt from Kimberly's piece:
Hispanic immigrants are overlooked in this country. They don't receive the recognition they should because they work the hard labor jobs that other people don't want to do. They are the people that keep the economy running but yet they face a lot of prejudice. They learn a new language in order to be able to get around. I grew up with the fear of one day my parents getting deported, getting taken away from me. I grew up experiencing racism all because I looked like my parents-- immigrants. Others are praised for knowing two languages, meanwhile they hear “Go back to your country” or “Speak English correctly or don't speak it at all” because of their thick accents. Ellos mantienen su orgullo hispano donde sea que estén, nunca se olvidan de donde vinieron. I am always going to have pride for being hispanic, I'll represent the five stars with blue and white stripes of Honduras as if it were my own original land.