Part of The Story of Rubi Garcia
My name is Rubi Garcia, and my parents basically grew up in Mexico. They came to the United States around [the] 1990s, and I was born in Brooklyn, and so from Allentown we’re now here in Breinigsville. And growing up, I always thought that everybody spoke Spanish. I guess that's just like the little kid naivety and whatnot, but I’ll never forget I had a teacher tell me like, “Honey, I don’t speak Spanish,” and so I think that was also like a big woah - it’s big reality check.
Um, Spanish has always been a comfort to me, and even though I’m losing part of it, I still try my best to stay in contact with people who can speak Spanish. Especially my family every day, but especially other family members in Mexico who are like, “Oh wow, well are you gonna be able to teach Spanish to your children someday,” and I wanna be able to do that. So that’s why it’s really important for me because I know my parents don’t speak English of some sort.
In Mexican culture, in Mexican traditions, it's very common for young women to have children early on or to aspire to marriage. One could argue that it’s not even just a Mexican thing, it really is could just be everywhere else as well but my mom taught me that, “No we’re not gonna talk about marriage right now. Boys don’t come into the picture. Please focus on your education and see how far you get before you actually start having a family.” So, from a young age, she really really grilled into me, “No you have to go to college, there’s no way.” When I would pass by Cedar Crest I was like wow this campus is right here, and it’s 15 minutes away from my home. So, what better choice than to just come here, and I’m really happy that Cedar Crest was able to give me that support where other schools really couldn’t.
Nowadays, there is representation of Latinas, but I also want them to be in higher positions of power one day too. In the future, ideally, the plan is to become a diplomat. I really want to be able to represent a country that has given and afforded my family so many opportunities, and I really want to prove to the world, “Hey were not so bad.” We’re in this country that is so beautiful. It has so much diversity. There’s so many people of different backgrounds. We all share one common goal, and that’s to just have freedom and be free in what we’re able to do. That’s why I want to be able to become a diplomat and represent the United States in the best way possible, but also be able to show, not just Latina children, but everyone that, “Hey, doesn't matter where you're from you can do is too,” and I think just being at Cedar Crest Seeing all these beautiful and just inspiring women definitely pushed me to become better.
What makes me feel proud is my family because understanding where they came from, like from the bottom-of-the-barrel Mexico to here, they really in my eyes completed the American Dream, and I hope to one day be able to like repay them in some way for giving me such a blessed life like I every day I tell myself wow this life is not possible if we were back in Mexico. It definitely made me more grateful and more mindful of where I am and how I can keep going and not just improving myself, but how can I improve community like how can I do something for us. I would also teach my children like look at the life you have versus what your grandparents have gone and I would teach them that they have the opportunity, they have that freedom to dream big and I don't know if people realize but having that privilege to dream big in and of itself is a privilege. There are people who unfortunately can't do that, and so, I would be most grateful if my children learn how to do that too.