Skip to main content

Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Rosemary Q. Flores interview, October 16, 2018, October 29, 2018: transcript






Session 1: Interviewed by Elsa Lopez. Rosemary's parents originated from Sonora, Mexico where her father worked in the strawberry fields and her mother was a kindergarten teacher. Her father, in search for a better life, came to Nevada after he heard of jobs available in the Northern Nevada mines. The two met and settled down in Reno after her mother became enamored with the beauty of Lake Tahoe. Rosemary and her four younger siblings grew up in Reno with their parents until the divorce. Her father soon joined the army during the Korean war and felt that it would be best if Rosemary and her siblings lived with their grandmother back in Mexico. There they stayed for two years, and although she missed her family and did not speak much Spanish, she recalls her time there with fondness. She eventually moved back to Reno and finished high school, graduating in the top 20. She married afterwards and had her son as well. After some convincing from her husband, Rosemary enrolled into the University of Nevada, Reno and graduated with a major in Secondary Education with a specialty in Physics and Math. Rosemary became further involved in community outreach and non-profit programs such as Founding Hispanic Youth Image, Co-founding ALITAS, being a board member for the Title XX Commission, and being a Chair for the Latino Youth Leadership Conference. She has two children and is currently working at UNLV with the program Multicultural Education Services Alliance (MESA) as a Family Engagement Specialist. Subjects: Reno Nevada, UNLV, Multicultural Education, Family Engagement, Activism; Session 2: Interviewed by Elsa Lopez. This is a continuation of a previous interview. We have asked Rosemary Q. Flores to tell us more about her work in the Multicultural Education Services Alliance. We also spoke more about her family and early childhood in Mexico while she was away from her family.

Digital ID


Physical Identifier



Flores, Rosemary Q. Interview, 2018 October 16 and 2018 October 29. OH-03496. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use ( or contact us at

Standardized Rights Statement

Digital Provenance

Original archival records created digitally





AN INTERVIEW WITH ROSEMARY Q. FLORES. An Oral History Conducted by Elsa López Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2018 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Elsa López Nathalie Martinez, Rodrigo Vazquez Editors and Project Assistants: Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Elsa López, Nathalie Martinez, Marcela Rodriguez-Campo, Rodrigo Vazquez iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE Rosemary Q. Flores was born on November 9, 1959. A Nevada native, she has cultivated relationships between residents and community services in our Silver State throughout most of her life. Often cited in Nevada’s more recent historical record, Rosemary has dedicated her career to ameliorating inequity in her community and has influenced countless people along the way. Rosemary comes from an immigrant family, and navigated higher education as a Latina in the eighties. She has over twenty years of experience with Latino-serving nonprofits and continues her work on community and family outreach with UNLV and the Clark County School District. Her parents originated in Sonora and Zacatecas, Mexico but did not meet until living in the United States. Her father immigrated to California for farm work in the strawberry fields, and moved to Reno, Nevada to work in the northern mines. Her mother, a kindergarten teacher in v Sonora, Mexico, also moved to Reno where the two met and settled down after her mother became enamored with the beauty of Lake Tahoe. Rosemary and her four younger siblings were raised in Reno. She admired her parents’ diligence, her mother for receiving her GED and her father for enlisting in the Korean War. In her teen years, she moved with her maternal grandmother in Sonora, a time she remembers with fondness. They eventually moved back to Reno where Rosemary graduated from Hug High School in 1977 in the top twenty percent of her class. Rosemary married shortly afterwards and had a son followed by a daughter, four years after. While working at the newly opened MGM, her husband convinced Rosemary to enroll into the University of Nevada, Reno where she graduated with a major in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Physics and Mathematics. After college, she became more involved in nonprofits. She continued her activism with Nevada Hispanic Services and is credited with founding the Hispanic Youth Image, working with La Raza to implement HIV/AIDS awareness, Co-founding ALITAS, and serving on the Title XX Commission, among many others. In 1997, her family moved to Las Vegas where she founded her small business, Bilingual Consulting Services, and became a member of the Latin Chamber of Commerce where she chaired the Latino Youth Leadership Conference for five years. She oversaw the School-to-Careers Partnership before becoming involved in Family Leadership. She is currently in the master’s program for Public Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Rosemary is continuing her work for the university initiative MESA (Multicultural Education Services Alliance) as a Family Engagement Specialist in an effort to enroll more students of color in higher education to diversify the teacher workforce of Las Vegas. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Rosemary Q. Flores October 16, 2018 In Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Elsa Lopez Preface………………………………………………………………………………………..…..iv Session One Describes family, father moving to Nevada to work in silver mines, citizenship by enlisting in the Army during Korean War. Mother worked at Mission Linen. Parents divorced, sent with siblings to Mexico with paternal grandmother. Describes mother studying for citizenship and GED, then works at VA hospital. Remembers Idlewild Park ………………………………1 – 4 Remembers maternal grandmother's home in Sonora, Mexico. Talks about school life at Secundaria El Colegio Pitic and compares to Hug High School in Reno. Moves back to Reno, Father passes away; moves in with mother, siblings worked full time at Harrah's while going to school, mentions Ms. Feemster, graduated in the top twenty, married after graduation………4- 7 Talks about working as a dishwasher while pregnant; has baby boy. Works for Centro de Information Latino Americano, Esteban Valle gives jobs for home interviews and surveys with Latinx community. Opening of MGM in Reno, works at MGM Italian restaurant, pregnant with daughter. Starts UNR in January, Ms. Constantino, graduates with a degree in secondary education in 1986……………….. …………………………………………………………….7-11 Discusses struggles of being Latina in higher education. Describes influences and multicultural education. Teacher of color, Pine Middle School, Reed High School and mentor Ms. Shaw, Chuck Johnson, returns to Nevada Hispanic Services, started Hispanic Youth Image, helped Dr. Mikawa and Dan Olson with HIV/AIDS awareness program……………………………….11-16 Decides to leave Nevada Hispanic Services, begins at Sierra Pacific Power Company. Develops a program to connect Sierra Power to non-profits. Son goes to college; Rosemary decides to move to Las Vegas, opens Bilingual Consulting Services. Begins volunteer work with Latin Chamber of Commerce, describes growth of Latino Youth Leadership Conference ……….17-21 Co-founds Family Leadership Initiative, youth portion “FLY Zone”. Hired for Multicultural Education Services Alliance (MESA) to recruit teachers of color, works with Las Vegas schools and families, methods of family engagement. Talks about master’s degree in Public Administration……. …………………………………………………………………………21-27 vii Session Two Describes MESA, Abriendo Caminos and their mission; talks about founders Dr. Norma Marrun and Dr. Christine Clark, and parent coordinator Norma E. Juarez, mentions partners like College of Southern Nevada, Nevada State College, Upward Bound, TRiO. Joins team as family engagement specialist. Details parental meetings and recruitment…….…………………….28-35 Talks about Master’s degree in public administration, family engagement with paths to higher education, Acelero Head-Start, Promotoras de Salud. Explains how schools are chosen for the program. Talks about creating a syllabus for a family engagement project..………….…..…35-38 Mentions Raul Yzaguirre and the National Council of La Raza. Talks about her father working in strawberry fields, remembers life in Mexico with family working in the farms. Talks about uncle’s work in the silver mines, citizenship through the Registry, Immigration Control and Reform Act. Discusses separation of families…………...…………………………………...38-42 MESA Family Network Brochure…………….……………………………………………...43-44 viii 1 Session One The date is October 16th, 2018. We are here in the Oral History Research Center. My name is Elsa Lopez and I am here with... Claytee White. Laurents Banuelos-Benitez. Rosemary Q. Flores. Rosemary could please pronounce and spell your full name? Rosemary Q. Flores; R-O-S-E-M-A-R-Y. Middle initial Q. Flores, F-L-O-R-E-S. If you could quickly let me know how you identify, either heritage or— Oh, okay. Wow, as far as heritage, Mexican American. Chicana when I was in college. Basically that's it. Tell me a bit about your early life, your family, and your parents. My early life. Well, I was born here—actually not here, but I was born in Reno, Nevada. My mother actually came from Sonora, came to Reno to visit her brothers, my uncles. When she went to Lake Tahoe, she said that she could not go back, so she stayed and met my father. She met my father and they married, and so I was born in Reno. I have a sister, Alma, and I have my three brothers, Tony, Victor and Pete, and I have a half-sister Judy. You were the eldest? My mother was my dad's second wife, so I am the eldest of the five of us, yes. What did your parents do during your time growing up? Oh, wow. My father passed away when I was fourteen or fifteen. When he came to the U.S., he worked in the strawberry fields. Then they realized that—when I say they, it was he and my uncle—they realized—one of my uncles—that that was not the type of life that he wanted. So he moved to Nevada because somebody told him about the mines in Nevada and he started working 2 the silver mines. In fact, my uncle worked there for many, many years and was able to become legalized through a program called Registry. You just reminded me. I was very honored to be able to help him and to go through that history because I was able to understand my father's previous steps through my uncle. I had no idea that he had worked the mines. My uncle actually was able to become a U.S. resident through the Registry program because he had been in the States since 1972. I think he became a resident close to his seventies, but he was happy to finally be able to be legalized. But my father was, in a way, a mentor to my uncles and my uncles would follow him. That's the story I have about him working in the mines in Nevada. The story that I have, because it is all from other people, he knew of a program—oh my God, this is hard. He found out about a program where he could become a U.S. citizen if he joined the army, and so he did. He was willing to fight for this country to become a citizen, and this was during the Korean War. Thankfully, he was one of the next groups to be shipped out when the war ended. In a way, that is why I'm here. He served the army. When I was a teenager—well, actually I wasn't a teenager. I was eight, nine years old when he was based in Herlong, California, and that is when my parents separated. At that age, I just remember my father working many hours. My mother also started to work at Mission Linen in Reno where most Latinos worked in Northern Nevada. She was trying to do her very best, but at that time my father decided that it would be best for us to be with our grandmother in Mexico, so all five of us were sent to Mexico to live with our grandmother, our grandfather and three of our aunts, for two years. For two years, we did not see our parents. It was difficult. After two years, my father did go back and brought us back to the States. At that time, he had already retired from the army. He was doing construction work. When families are struggling or are a bit dysfunctional, children sometimes don't know what's going on. But I think my sister and my brothers, I think we really held a very—to this day we hold a very tight bond. I think many people thought we were not going to succeed. Going through divorce was difficult, but all five of us actually have succeeded. We talk about it. Our nieces, our nephews, and my children, they sometimes wonder, how did it happen? How could we persevere and find resiliency? And I think that's why I do the work I do. 3 What have you learned from your parents? I do thank them both because I think they both bring two very strong values. My father definitely gave us all the gene of being workaholics. Work is key. We know that to get anywhere you have to work extremely hard; thanks to Dad that is a value that all five of us have, my mother as well, but my mother was more focused on education. She always wanted to have an education. She couldn't have her education in Mexico, and so when she came to the States and saw Tahoe, I don't think that dream of her getting an education never went away. I do remember, I very clearly have a vivid memory of—at that time, we were in Section 8, so I'm fast-forwarding because I was at that time fourteen years old. I was already living with my maternal grandmother in Mexico, but I came to visit my mom. I said to her, "Mom, what are you doing?" She said, "I'm going to get my high school degree. I want to get my GED and I want to become a citizen." I said, "Oh, wow, okay." I see her sitting in—we had a little, tiny, tiny apartment and she is sitting in an orange chair of the 1970s and leaning back and she is studying like crazy. She's doing both. Actually, at that time she wasn't studying to become a citizen. She was studying government. I take it back because she had already become a citizen. She became a citizen right before we came back to the States. But I do remember her saying that she was studying to get her GED just as she had studied to get her citizenship. Part of her GED she was having to study government, but she had already known everything about government because she already had become a citizen. Studying her government course wasn't difficult because she already knew it. I was really...I don't know. There was something that I just thought, wow. We see moms as moms, but there is so much more to moms. Here she was and at that time, my youngest brother was with us and my sister and I. My two brothers had gone to live with my dad. She was not letting go of her dream. She was going to continue. That stays in my mind; that orange chair stays in my mind. Sure enough, after she got her GED, she was able to get the job that she wanted and she worked for the VA Hospital. She was one of their nutritionists, is what she would say. She worked in the kitchen, but she liked to say that she was a nutritionist. Do you have any fond memories of you and your family when you lived in Reno? Or if you could, recount one of your more favorite memories. 4 I think my favorite memory is going to the park. It was Idlewild Park, Idlewild Park and my mom and my dad, and at that time, the boys were tiny. He would take us to the park, we would feed the ducks, and we would have a picnic. There was a little train. I believe the little train is still there. We would ride the little train or little airplanes. We would ride the train. We never flew the airplanes. I don't even know if the airplanes were there at that time. I just remember the train. Then when I had my children, I would take them to Idlewild Park and we would ride the same train. Feeding the ducks at Virginia Lake, that was nice. That was our outing, going to the park. That is my favorite memory with all of us. What about when you are a little older? Can you tell us about what it was like going to high school in Nevada, middle school or high school? Sometimes when divorce happens, it takes a while to settle. I do remember once thinking, wow, I have lived in fourteen homes in fourteen years. My best memory of junior high was when I lived with my maternal grandmother in Sonora, first of all, because they had the best flour tortillas in Sonora and, of course, she made the best flour tortillas. She made bread and she made her own coffee. Just the smell of her home and just knowing that my grandfather, my maternal grandfather, Tata Juan, he built that home, such a warm beautiful home with a patio and trees, fruit trees everywhere. Being able to stay with my maternal grandmother—and I made that decision, actually. I was thirteen when I made the decision to live with my maternal grandmother. Being able to go to—it is called La Secundaria, Secundaria El Colegio Pitic. It was in an old, old building. The high school only had three rooms, one for each grade. We stayed in the same room. The teachers would actually rotate; the students would stay in the same room. It was not an elegant school. It was very unique. I had never seen a school like that. The building is still there. I actually visit that building every time I go to Hermosillo. I always visit that building. I think that's where I was able to understand how much I enjoyed school, how much I really knew, how much I knew my subject. Even though I didn't speak Spanish very well, I really was able to learn much faster. I loved my math professor, oh my gosh. He was scary, though. A lot of students were afraid of him, but he was really a kind man. I think the reason we got along was 5 because I was acing all the tests and I was understanding everything he would teach. Then later he taught physics and he taught chemistry. The school did not have very many resources at all. We, as the cohort of students, decided to open up what is called a cooperative, which was basically a little store, just a little store, because we would always go buy our stuff around the corner. It's called Los Portales. It was just right around El Colegio Pitic. I cannot believe we were even thinking about this at such a young age. I said, "Why are we buying our things from Los Portales, when we could buy and sell our own here?" So we did. We started to sell our own snacks, sell our own sodas. I remember when the Pepsi—now I'm promoting a soda company. But the soda company would come by and drop off the sodas. We felt like entrepreneurs. This must have been seventh grade, eighth grade. Our professors were fascinated with the group of us who decided to do this because they had never had this. I do remember there is a little candy; it's called mazapán. It is a peanut candy, almost like a Reese’s Cup, but it is very light inside and very neatly packaged. We had all our little mazapánes all in line with all our sodas, all our chips, and the salsas and that's all we sold. We had our treasurer. The treasurer would go put the money in the bank and then the next day would come in and we'd sell snacks and then again. All of a sudden, one day we noticed—it must have been over a weekend—we come in and our mazapánes are empty. There is no peanut inside; we only had the little packages. The ants had invaded our mazapánes. That was our first lesson of losing profits. We just had no clue that these little ants could actually go in and eat the mazapanes. That was a lesson. I share this story because as a secondary school, as a junior high school, to be able to be in such close connection to our teachers and such a close connection with the students—where the teachers wanted us to know one another—and to be allowed to grow and to do something like this when the school itself did not have the resources...We didn't have posters up on the wall. There was no color on the walls. It was just the desks and the blackboard. That was my best experience. Even though I was born and raised in the States, my father was in the army, and I went to really good schools, I didn't feel the warmth that I felt in El Colegio Pitic. That was the first time I ever felt warmth. 6 Would you say it was because there was a lot of involvement from the teachers, as well as from the parents? What about that school was so different? There was a lot of interaction. Simply saying good morning every single day. My math teacher every single day, because he was also the director of the school, he would stand outside and he would greet us every day. He wore these dark glasses. We did not know who he was looking at or what he was looking at. We had a lot of respect for him. The greeting coming in and a greeting leaving. School at that time—it's not so anymore—but at that time our school schedule was from eight o'clock in the morning until five o'clock in the afternoon, including Saturdays, half-day Saturdays; that's when we would have our soccer games or PE. I think it was this—you were seen. People saw you. Teachers saw you. Other students saw you. We had time to talk outside and to get to know one another. It was very, very different from going to high school. I went to Hug High School in Reno in the seventies. In fact, what happened was, because I had taken so many credits, of course, with all those hours of school, when I came back to the States to go to high school—at that time my mother was already asking me to come back. I go to Hug High School. I remember it was Mrs. Feemster. She has passed away. She was an amazing, amazing woman at Hug High School. She really helped me. She said to me, "Hmm, you took all these classes?" I said, "Yes, I did." She says, "Well, you don't have to go to tenth grade. You are a senior. You have all your credits." I said, "Really?" I was only a senior at Hug High School. They counted all of my credits. At that time, my dad had already passed away. Actually three of us; it was my brother, my sister and I; we worked at Harrah's to be able to buy our stuff because our mom couldn't afford to buy our clothes or books or anything. We all worked and we went to school. We worked full-time to help her out. She's grateful that we were able to provide for ourselves because even though she wanted to provide for us, she couldn't. One salary was not enough. That's my memory of high school. I loved Hug High. I made some great friends at Hug High. But working full-time, it does not give you enough time to do anything else but just go to school, study, and go to work. My sister and I took an English class together. I remember we were talking about "Macbeth" at that time. She does not remember a thing about it because she was asleep during the whole class. I kept 7 nudging at her because I could see that the teacher was seeing her. But the teacher knew that we worked, so she just let her sleep. She couldn't hold it anymore; she conked out on the desk. I just saw her from the side. We let her sleep. Could you tell me a bit, about what you did after high school? After high school, I got married. In fact, I met my husband when I was going to school in Mexico. He lived right across the street, which made it convenient. After high school, I married, very young. Wow, you are really making me think. I remember now. I had our son. He was probably three months old and I told my husband, "Okay, I need to go back to work. I cannot stay without work." I actually had worked all the way until I delivered, I had the baby. But what's interesting, though, is that even though I had—I mean, I graduated in the top twenty, I believe. And I did not know this. I actually did not know that I was going to be graduating. I was actually on the dais. I had no idea that I was going to be there, none. Of course, because I was working all the time. But then when I went to talk to Ms. Feemster, she congratulated me. I had no clue. I didn't even know what the process was. Years later, I realized that I was never given the direction as to how to go to college. I think there was an assumption that I already knew how and that I was going to do it on my own, so I was not guided as to how to go to college. Of course, coming from a workaholic family, we had to work. After having our son, I really wanted to go to college. At that time there was this organization called the Centro de Información Latino Americano, the Latin American Information Center. I went in and spoke to Esteban Valle. Esteban Valle was an amazing person in Reno. He did a lot of good for the community. He was an artist. I think his art is still around. I just went in and I said, "I need a job." He said, "Okay, can you speak English and speak Spanish? Are you willing to do interviews? Are you willing to travel?" I said, "Yes, I can drive my car." I said, "I just have my son." "Oh, yes, you can take your son with you. Are you willing to do these interviews for us?" I started interviewing people for a survey. They were doing some research. That was my job outside of working in the casino. The job that I had while I was going to school was as a dishwasher. I was a dishwasher until I had our son. The Centro de Información Latino Americano actually gave me my first job outside of the kitchen and I loved it. I just loved going to homes, talking to people, listening to them, listening 8 to their stories, pretty much what you are doing here now. That really sparked. Just being exposed to other people in the center and seeing their willingness to help people get jobs, to help people go to school, to help people get housing, I was very impressed. Then soon after that, my husband and I had to leave the States, so we went back to Mexico. I had already applied for my husband to become a citizen. We reapplied when we were in Mexico and came back. Once he became a resident, we were back in the States. When you were doing your interview work, what did you learn about the Latino-Latina community when you were speaking to them? Oh, I just had this conversation with my husband the other day. I remember there was such a diversity. There were very humble families that lived very minimally. Minimalists already existed then. They had warm kitchens. They were so willing to answer questions. Every time I would walk into any home, they always had something to offer us, coffee or bread or food. I never went hungry when I was out in the field. It was cold in Reno. In Reno, it snows, and here I am with my son doing these interviews late at night sometimes. A cup of coffee was always, oh, just very nice. I just shared this with my husband. I remember seeing an affluent Latina. She was one of the ones that I needed to interview. I was quite impressed. I was just like, okay, how did she get here? Just going into a neighborhood that here I am going into a neighborhood with my 1970 Chevy Nova; it doesn't fit in with the other cars in the neighborhood. As I interviewed her, she did share information for the survey, but I immediately felt her loneliness. I could feel her loneliness. I will never forget that; that here I am working two worlds—not just two worlds; there was a whole bunch of worlds, but I'm looking at the extremes. I guess if I kind of position it with my schooling experience, here I am in a very humble school in my grandmother's town compared to a very resourceful school; and yet, I feel warmer in one than the other. I kind of felt the same thing as I was doing these surveys. It's like, why are the people who are supposed to be successful not so happy; yet, the people who want to achieve success are very happy, seem very content in their home? That stayed with me from that experience with the surveys. 9 When you decided to attend college, what did you go to college for? As I had said, all this moving around back and forth, I finally told my husband, "We need to settle down. We need to have one home." He agreed. At that time we were both working. When MGM opened in Reno, it was a big deal in Reno. We said, "Oh, let's just go apply." So we both applied at the MGM and we were both hired. We actually had different shifts to be able to care for our son. When we decided to have our second child that is when I thought, I want to be an educated mom, and my husband said, "You should go to school." He said, "You were born here. You speak English. You speak Spanish. You get along with people. You should go back to school. I can handle it." I'm just so grateful. Before we even had our daughter, I remember I was working in the little Italian restaurant at the MGM as a cashier. I decided, okay, I'll just work as a cashier until the baby is born. Had it not been for that I probably would have not had time to reflect. As a cashier, you're just sitting there waiting for people to pay their bill. As a waitress, you don't have time to think. You're constantly working. Sitting there and just thinking and watching people and different people, I thought, I really have to go back to school, and since my husband had already said, "Yes, I'll take care of it." I was not thinking about going back to school until after the baby was born, and then I thought, no, I'm just going to go check it out. I walked myself to the university. I spoke to this lady at the counter. She told me what I had to do. I had no idea what I was doing, no clue. The only thing I had was a vision. A good friend of mine, her name is Estela Delgado, she had gone to college, and I thought, I'm going to do the same thing. She was my only visual as a Latina going to college. I thought, wow, I can do it; I can do it. This person at the front desk, she just told me the steps and I was enrolled. I started school in January and my daughter was born in May. I remember Ms. Constantino, she was my math teacher. She says, "Rosemary, I'm just telling you, but I just don't think you're going to be here for the test." I was able to make it through the test. My daughter was not born until after the test. But I started school that year before having my second child and stayed the course. There were times, there were many times when I just wanted to quit because it was hard; 10 it was very tight. I was able to get my degree in 1986 in secondary education, and the field was math and physics. I think it was because of the one math professor that I had in Mexico. I truly wanted to be a civil engineer; that was my passion. I really wanted to be a civil engineer. I do remember talking to a counselor about becoming a civil engineer, and I do remember that counselor telling me that I could be a teacher. There was no further follow-up or follow-through. Of course, life happened. Life happened. I have a beautiful picture of my mom, my husband, our two children, and I. I will never forget that day, just graduating from UNR. It was very memorable. My mother to this day, she talks about it. I am curious to know what it was like being a Latina and attending UNR. Was it any different than—? Oh, my gosh, yes. Can you tell us a bit about the struggles, the pros, and the cons? Many people thought I was Native American. There were many opportunities and benefits for Native Americans. I remember one professor was so disappointed because he really wanted me to be Native American, to provide support. I never knew really why they were asking me until this one professor indicated that. But I also never knew that I probably could have used my father's GI. I never even researched it. From the very beginning we decided, you know what? There is so much backlash towards people of color receiving some type of assistance to go to school. My husband and I decided, no, we're going to pay for the whole thing on our own, and we did. I never asked for a scholarship, never applied for any benefit. We just said, "Nope, we're going to do this on our own. I don't want anybody saying that we're getting a handout." At that time, I really believed that. Once I graduated then I realized. I said, "What was I thinking? What was I thinking?" I could have provided more for my children. I could have done more. I could have probably had more services, but because I never searched them, it wasn't available to me. That is one lesson I learned. Know that you can apply for more scholarships. Any student that I work with, when they have that same attitude I had at that time when we have a chip on our shoulder, I tell them, "No, don't do that to yourself. The funding is here because people want us 11 to be able to succeed." And because they have merit. I could have easily gotten merit-based scholarships. My gosh, I was one of the top twenty at Hug High. That is one lesson. The other thing is, because I was taking the math and physics classes, many times I was the only Latina in labs. Actually, I think there were only two women in one of the labs; it was myself and a young lady from Singapore. Then in my physics classes, the classroom was filled with young men and I don't even think I can count ten women in the classroom. I just stuck to it. I just thought this is not going to deter me; I am going to get my degree in math and physics. Towards the middle of my college, there was a young lady. She was getting her electrical engineering degree. She was telling me, "You should go into electrical engineering. Why are you in teaching?" I considered it. I said, "I'm going to go check it out." When I went to go check it out, they did tell me, "Yes, you can definitely