The day of Saturday, May 20th was a very special day for my family and me. My youngest brother Daniel graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. with a double major in Economics and Sociology, and a minor in Spanish.
To many people, this is a very important time when someone in their family graduates from college. For me, it was so much more because my biggest role model is my younger brother. He has shaped who I am as a person and his road to college has had a major influence on what I do to help students as an Independent College Counselor for my business.. Daniel was one of my first students I helped with college.
It all started when I was in college, when I took him and his friends to MEChA’s Raza Youth Conference at California State University, Northridge to expose him to college and have him meet some of my professors when he was in eighth grade. Later that summer, we went on a campus tour at the University of Southern California (USC). It was his first official campus tour and he was amazed with the campus. He fell in love with it. His favorite part of the campus of all things that USC could offer were the restrooms. A few months later, we visited the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). We both fell in love with the campus. From that day on, UCLA was the place he wanted to attend until his senior year of high school.
One of my fondest memories was us volunteering in the morning for a couple hours and then taking him to the community college, so he could take summer school during the summers of his sophomore and junior years. My brother is the definition of a hard worker. He was never afraid to challenge himself by taking AP courses and community college classes. He was always the youngest in his grade level and his friends never let him forget that. He used that as motivation and his competitiveness led him to wanting to be the best he could become. He excelled in and out of school. My older brother and I never gave him anything easy growing up just because he was the youngest. We played basketball and other games as though he was the same age and height as us even though he was eight years younger than me.
I have learned a lot from my brother Daniel. When he was in middle school, he was constantly reading books, series of them. I thought to myself, “Why is he reading books?” I might have told him a few times as well. I discovered later that his love for reading started when he was even younger. He has motivated me to be better, do better. In addition, going through our family tragedy, I saw how he handled it and saw him grow as a person. I have always looked up to him because of his character.
Daniel has had many accomplishments throughout his college career. One of Daniel’s goals going into college was to study abroad in a Latin American country. He had the opportunity and took advantage of it during the summer of his sophomore year. He studied abroad in Ecuador for seven weeks in the full Spanish emersion program. During the summer of his junior year, my brother interned at Ralph Lauren’s corporate office. After his graduation, my family and I helped him move to New York City to start his job at Ralph Lauren. These are just a few of his many successes in his four years at Georgetown.
The future is very bright for him. There is no doubt that he is going to continue to do great things in his life. He set the bar high by being himself and it showed by the many compliments his friends and their parents had to say about him to our parents. I am very proud of him and all his accomplishments. I am proud to call him my brother and my best friend. Even though he is on the opposite side of the country, I will always have his back no matter where he is living.
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