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Erika Castro interview, November 12, 2018: transcript






Interviewed by Maribel Estrada Calderón. Barbara Tabach and Laurents Banuelos-Benitez also participate in the questioning. Erika Castro was born in Mexico City in 1989. At the age of three, she migrated with her family to the United States. She remembers entering Kindergarten without knowing how to speak English. She graduated from the College of Southern Nevada. Castro has since been a political activist. Subjects: PLAN, Planned Parenthood, Environmental Justice, UndocuNetwork, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DREAM Act

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Castro, Erika Interview, 2018 November 12. OH-03511. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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i AN INTERVIEW WITH ERIKA CASTRO An Oral History Conducted by Maribel Estrada Calderón 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 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, Nathalie Martinez, Rodrigo Vazquez, Elsa Lopez Editors and Project Assistants: Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Monserrath Hernández, Elsa Lopez, Nathalie Martinez, 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 Erika Castro’s path to becoming a community organizer was not always apparent, nor was it without obstacles and distractions. Much of the latter is inherent in the life of a young immigrant girl, who along with her family must learn to navigate the language, culture, and work opportunities of their new home. In 1992, she was three years old when she arrived in Las Vegas to be near an aunt and uncle living here. Her parents worked hard and were determined to provide her, and then her brother who was born in the U.S., a good life and loving home. In this oral history, Erika recalls periods of isolation and some stumbles in her education. Nevertheless, she would rise to the needs of her family. Eventually, she gained awareness that she was not alone in status and challenges of an immigrant family. She tells about learning of DACA and the DREAMERS Act. She talks of her first jobs in the kitchens of restaurants on the Strip and involvement with the Culinary Union. She is a professional community organizer and an inspiration to young Latinx leaders throughout the valley in her work with PLAN, Progressive Alliance of Nevada. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Erika Castro November 24, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Maribel Estrada Calderón Preface……………………………………………………………………………….…………..iv Identifies as a Latina originally from Mexico City, Mexico; born in 1989 in the small town of Tlalnepantla; shortly after death of her infant sister the family migrated in 1992 to Las Vegas for a fresh start; mother’s sister was already living in Las Vegas. Describes adapting to living here, specifically North Las Vegas, experiences with grocery shopping, car sharing, doctor appointments, speaking only Spanish, early education, and learning to assist her parents with English as she grew up; learning that she was undocumented immigrant and impact of witnessing an ICE raid; Pocahontas Halloween costume………………………………………………...1 – 5 Talks more about parents, challenges of language, being paired up with a bilingual student in third grade and realizations when applying for DACA; responsibilities of being the child who needed to translate for her parents. Shares a story from middle school National Junior Honor Society and how she became more aware of the implications of her undocumented status and how she distanced herself from setting educational goals………………………………………………………..6 – 10 More about the schools she attended; changes she observed when visiting her brother in school; lists schools she attended, Fay Herron, O.K. Gragson, Dell H. Robison middle school, Rancho and Desert Pines High Schools. High school episode and father becoming her advocate for her graduating; Camp Anytime her senior year. Describes line cook job at the Venetian she worked after graduating; saved money to attend CSN, but still lacked a Social Security number. Paying attention to the news about Dreamers and what opportunities this provided; memories of parents pushing her to achieve more than they had; turned her focus to culinary and how she might excel in the white/male dominated kitchen arena, where she was a young Latina………………..11 – 14 Explains applying to college again in 2011 and overcoming financial obstacles to concentrate on her educational goals; how she learned about DACA, at age 24, which gave her a view of a future for the first time; being a member of Culinary #226 while working at Bellagio, China Poblano at Cosmo; working with career kitchen workers……………………………..……………….15 – 18 In 2010 her interest in politics is sparked as she learns of the DREAM Act; attended a Culinary Union conference for undocumented youth and joined a small group of Nevada youth; thoughts she dealt with; caution of her parents as her activism grew. Recalls various jobs of her parents. Explains objectives of PLAN [Progressive Alliance of Nevada], a nonprofit organization; how it vi led to being a mining justice organizer; talks about environmental justice aspect; big focus in Southern Nevada is water grab; indigenous groups and Northern Nevada ………………..19 – 25 Talks about also working with Planned Parenthood, which is a member organization of PLAN; Affordable Care Act; UndocuNetwork; now studies social work at UNLV; likes policy side. Reflects on midterm elections from 2016 to present time; increased representation by women. Addresses the current White House occupants wanting to end DACA; thoughts about preparing for the shift should it occur. Time her father was picked up in Ohio with her brother who is a US citizen; brother now 21 and could petition on behalf of his parents and sister…………….26 – 32 Grandparents live in Mexico; avoiding parents crossing back; activity of ICE in the past and in the present; roles of UNLV Law Clinic, Legal Aid Center, Catholic Charities; how she has embraced activism. Talks about hobbies: hiking. Traditions include pambrazos, Dia de Muertos, Christmas time, mother is a pastry chef. Advice she would give younger Latinx…………………….33 – 37 vii 1 Today is November 12th, 2018. My name is Maribel Estrada Calderon. I am at the UNLV Lied Library in the Oral History Research Center. In the room with me I have... Barbara Tabach. Laurents Banuelos Benitez. Today I am going to interview Ms. Erika Castro. Ms. Castro, can you please say your name and spell out your name for me? It's Erika Castro; E R I K A, C A S T R O. Can you tell me how you identify? Yes. I identify as a Latina woman originally from Mexico, Mexico City. Let's begin your childhood. Tell me where you're from and where you were born. I was born in Mexico City in this little town called Tlalnepantla, but my family lives in Santa Clara and Indios Verdes. My dad's side is in Indios Verdes and my mom's side is in Santa Clara. We lived there until '92. I was about to be three years old—my birthday is April 28th—and a month before that we migrated to Las Vegas. My mom at the time had a sister and a brother in law in Las Vegas —my cousins weren't born yet—but that was all the family she had here. My dad had no family here at the time. We came to the U.S. after we had a family loss. My little sister actually got really sick. It was just a fever, a really bad cold, but unfortunately the medical attention that she got wasn't appropriate for her age—she was only a couple of months old—and the medication she was given ruined her organs causing her to die. That kind of trauma threw my mom for a curve, to say the least. It was really hard on her. My mom was about twenty-one years old at the time, so it was really hard on her. My dad and the rest of our family decided that it would be best to get her out of that environment and help her start over, so that's why we ended up coming to the U.S. 2 You had family members here in Las Vegas? Yes. Only my aunt and her husband at the time from my mom’s side of the family. Then when I got here, my aunt had a daughter, which is my younger cousin, and then after that she had a son, my cousin as well. I was going to say nephew. Yes, it was just them. That was it. Do you have any memories of the place where you were born? Not really. I have pictures, not a ton of pictures, but I've seen pictures that my mom that my mom has kept over the years, but mainly pictures through social media that my cousins and grandparents have shared. My grandparents don’t have social media, but they access it through their kids or their grandkids. So, I've seen pictures through there. But, no, no real memories. You were how old? I was about to be three years old. How did your parents adapt to Las Vegas? What did they do when they got here? I think at first it was mainly them trying to figure out their work situations. We lived with my aunt for the first few years. At the time she was renting a little apartment by the Boulevard Mall. I think my parents were just trying to figure out how to put food on the table, put a roof over our heads. I think at first it was really hard because both of my parents were very young and living in a new country that they knew nothing about. My mom was twenty-one and my dad was just a couple of years older than her. He was probably twenty-three, twenty-four. They didn't know the language. They didn't speak any English. My dad didn't have any family here except my mom. I know that was really hard for them, but they don't really talk about it. They talk about how they've seen the city grow or their life back in Mexico. For instance, my mom always shares that we used to go to these grocery stores where the kids had to actually wait outside because the grocery store we went to, were so small that if it was my aunt and her and then the three kids 3 behind them, it was just too much for all us to go inside. We would have to wait outside for them while they went grocery shopping and then we'd all go home. She talks about not having a car and having to navigate sharing one car with the whole family to go to doctors' appointments for my cousins and simply get around. Since they had been recently born, my mom would take care of them as a way to pay for us staying there. She would have to figure out how to take the three kids to doctor appointments, to get our shots if we were sick or whatever it was. My mom had to navigate that either by figuring out the car situation, taking the bus or just walking wherever she had to take us. BARBARA: What year are we talking about here? Give me some historical context. What year did you come? It was '92. It was '92 when we came. My cousins were born. My cousin Stephanie was born in '95. No, I have the years wrong. But she was born around that time, a couple of years after we got here, because she's three years younger than me. Yes, it was around '93, '94 probably that she was navigating those situations. What area of Las Vegas was that in? It was in the east North Las Vegas, right around Pecos and Lake Mead, which is actually where I live now as well. Tell me about growing up in Las Vegas. For me it wasn't terribly hard, I think because I had my two cousins that we were similar in age, so we just grew up together. But now that I think about it, being in school I didn't really have a lot of friends. My friends were my cousins. I think it was because, even though they were born here, the only language that we spoke at home was Spanish. I think it was easy for us to migrate to each other. Even when we were in school during lunch breaks and whatnot and recesses, we 4 would just kind of migrate to each other because we spoke the same language. My kindergarten teacher was actually a white woman, so she didn't speak any Spanish. I don't remember any of my peers speaking any Spanish, either. I just kind of stuck to myself. I think about it as a challenge, but it was also something that pushed me to learn English and then also kind of help me help my parents because since my parents didn't speak English, then it meant that when we were going to those doctors' appointments, when they finally moved out of my aunt's house and we were getting our own place, I was able to help them figure out how to fill out paperwork, how to talk to people who were going to these different agencies either for electricity or gas or just to rent an apartment at the leasing office or whatever. Then I was able to figure out how to communicate for them. I never thought of t it as a huge challenge, but now looking back it was something that made me grow up a lot faster than other kids, just being aware of that. I found out that I was undocumented at a very young age. It was actually in the same area I grew up, because my mom and my aunt were navigating with just having one car for the family, I don't remember where we had gone, but it was my cousin Stephanie, myself, my aunt and my mom. We were walking back home and from somewhere. There is a 7 Eleven on the corner of Lake Mead and Belmont, which is down the street from where we lived at the time, and there was a raid happening. Now that I'm older I think they were probably following the individual and that's why they were able to grab him and go. They did grab a couple of people on their way inside the 7 Eleven. I didn't really understand what it all meant, but I knew that there was something wrong. My aunt grabbed my cousin and told my mom to run. I looked at my mom and she began crying. I remember holding on to my mom's hand and not really knowing what to do until she kind of snapped out of it and we started running towards the house. Thankfully, we were only a couple of blocks away and they were very small streets that we just 5 kind of ran through them and, I guess, lost them, but I don't really think they were really following us. It was just that initial fear that that's what we thought. It wasn't until we got home that my mom started to explain to my dad and my uncle what had happened. I was just listening on the side and paying close attention, I just remember my aunt saying, "La migra, la migra," and being afraid of it. But what struck me was that me and my mom had to run, but my aunt and my cousin didn't have to. That made me understand that there was something different, even if I didn’t fully understand what that meant. Thinking back and seeing them in that uniform, to me they looked like police officers. I didn't realize it was ICE or anything. To me it just looked like they were some kind of officials and they were arresting someone, and I wasn't supposed to be there or else it could have happened to me. I think that really shaped my childhood because it made me very nervous to talk to other people or people that I felt that had some kind of power. I didn't know why I was hiding, but I knew that I had to, if that makes sense. I'm going to go back to your kindergarten class. How did you feel when you got to class and you realized that you couldn't communicate with the other kids or with your teacher? I think as a kid I didn't really think much of it. I don't know. I remember just kind of figuring it out. The things that stand out more for me were the holidays, specifically for Halloween. I remember getting to school and everybody had Halloween costumes on and I had no idea what was going on. I don't know how it all played out. I think it was my dad dropping me off and realizing that it was a holiday and I was the only kid that didn't have a costume on. He dropped me off and then a couple of hours later he came back with a Pocahontas costume. That's what he gave me. And I put it on. I just remember kind of feeling—I go, "Oh"—excited and that I'm fitting in with the rest of the kids. 6 BARBARA: Did you know who Pocahontas was? No clue. I had no idea. I don't think my dad knew either. That's kind of ironic. Yes. I don't think he knew either. I started watching the movie afterwards. That was another thing, because my parents didn't really know the culture, I didn't really watch any of those Disney movies or anything until I got much older. I don't think I fully understood what it meant to not speak the same language. I think it was a lot of pointing and following the kids around to figure things out. How did your parents deal with it? How did they engage with your teachers or how did they help you with your homework? They didn't really help me with my homework a lot. My dad was working a lot at the time, not that he wasn't around, he was just busy. I don't think my mom really knew how to help me. I think easy stuff, maybe like math, she would help me, but figuring out letters and all this stuff in English, she had no idea. I think that's why me and my cousins are really close, because none of our parents could really help us with any of that, so we just kind of helped each other. I don't remember having a lot of help to figure that out until third grade. In third grade I remember being paired up with someone that spoke both English and Spanish and I would sit next to her in every single class. It almost felt like I was copying her and she was just kind of like, okay, this is what this said; now you figure it out. But other than that I just remember going to class and kind of figuring it out, following whatever the other kids were doing and whatnot. Oddly enough, I still had pretty good grades. When I was applying for DACA, I was looking through all my documents and everything, and all through elementary school I had really 7 good grades and all my teachers had really good things to say. But I do think about how I figured that out. I think it was just following what the other kids were doing. For my parents, I do remember them coming to parent teacher conferences and having to translate for them, which in retrospect I can't imagine how well I was translating and also if I was being completely honest with my parents, maybe. But, yes, I remember having to translate for my parents in a lot of the parent teacher conferences. Also, having to fill out my own paperwork to enroll myself in school, I always helped out with that and even for my younger cousins. I think because I was the oldest one, my aunt would turn to me and figure out, how do we figure this out together? Since I had to figure it out for myself, now we can figure it out for the other kids. LAURENTS: Can I get you to touch on translating more for your parents, because I think that's a unique experience for people our age growing up having to translate. Did you ever feel the pressure from – what if I mess up this official form? Were you always thinking about the consequences? You were a kid and translating papers that were meant for adults. Can you touch on that? Yes. I think the biggest ones were probably where we would have to go do stuff like electricity and gas, the utilities for the house, because I knew that if I messed something up then that meant that we might not have power; that we might not have running water or whatever it was. Now when I think about talking to them about leasing stuff, like when we would go to lease an apartment or whatever they had to do around that, realizing that what if I did it wrong? I think that was always a challenge. I didn't really understand the responsibility, I think, until my brother was born because then I feel like the responsibility was a lot bigger. Going to the doctor with my mom and making sure that she was doing well, that everything was okay with my brother, that was really stressful because it made me feel like I had to also take care of my brother and that 8 made it that much harder. Obviously, I care about my parents, but this is my brother. Because my little sister, I feel like I never really got to meet her, I feel like I now had this new opportunity with my brother and that was where all the translating of documents and figuring out resources and all of that was so much harder and also because we were living in poverty and my parents needed Medicaid for my brother. They had food stamps for my brother so he could have all the nutrients he needed. Not knowing how to navigate that because I knew—it goes back to knowing that I was undocumented and knowing that our family was undocumented and having that pressure that we didn't want to get in trouble with anything, but then we also needed these resources for my brother and he was eligible because he had his Social Security. That's where the translating got really hard. What was your parents' attitude towards you? Were they appreciative of you translating or was it something that was expected of you? I think it was expected. They never forced me, but it was just kind of like, well, you're the one that speaks English in the family. I think now, especially my mom, my mom always thanks me for everything that I've done. To me it never felt like I was obligated to. It was just a means of survival for me and my family. And if I had those tools to communicate, then why not use them? Yes, but I think it was more expected. I think it goes for many folks in my situation because unfortunately, like you said, it's not unique to me. It's not that we're kind of thrown in there, but in a sense we are because it's, again, survival to our families. Can you tell me how you understood being undocumented after that incident with your mom? What did it mean to you? How did you think about it? For me it just kind of meant that I had to lay low in a sense; that I couldn't talk to people about where I came from or about that incident in particular. I just couldn't be vocal about those things, 9 which I think I interpreted as beginning to assimilate. But it was just really hard because I didn't really have friends in elementary school. I think maybe that's probably why I didn't have a lot of friends in elementary school, because I didn't know how to talk to them about these things and I didn't want people to figure these things out. I felt like I was already being exposed because I didn't fully speak English and I think that's why I tried really, really hard to make sure that I did learn the language; that I knew how to write it and read it and all of that. But I think it didn't really hit me until eighth grade and I think that's when I fully understand what it meant. I was invited to be part of the National Junior Honor Society. I remember getting the letter and I was really excited. I didn't really think anything of it, but I went to the meeting and just kind of heard how people were accepted into this program or invited to be a part of the program and the things they wanted to do throughout the year. I was really excited. Then at the end I guess their way to get you is, "Oh, and we're going to do this amazing trip to D.C." All the kids were really excited. But for me, because I knew that I had to stay under the radar and because I knew, kind of thinking back to that incident at that 7 Eleven, I decided not to go forward with the program. I never told my parents about it because I didn't want them to be upset that I couldn't do it. I just knew that I couldn't do it because I couldn't get on a plane. How was I going to go to D.C. if I couldn't get on a plane and be undetected and all of that? To me at that age it just seemed impossible. I think that's when I first started understanding what held me back as an undocumented immigrant. How did knowing that affect what you wanted to do when you finished school? Actually, I think it was the opposite. It made me not want to focus on school anymore. It made me really not think about my future because I didn't know what it meant to have a future. At the same time when I was invited to be at the National Junior Honor Society, I was also looking into 10 magnet schools. I was trying to go to Vo Tech at the time. The name changed now and I don't know what it is. I was trying to go to Vo Tech. I was playing soccer at the time. Some of my soccer mates were going to Vo Tech and they would talk about just what they were studying, just kind of the program, and I was really interested in it. Then when I went to fill out the application, it asked you for your Social Security and I knew that I didn't have one. I just kind of decided that maybe I just didn't need to focus on school so much because what was the point? I went on to high school. I went to Desert Pines and I was just a normal student. I wanted to join the military at the time. I really wanted to join the army, but I also knew that that wasn't something that I could do. It just became really hard to think about what I wanted to do after high school. The programs that I wanted to go into, I couldn't. I knew that if I wanted to get a job, it was probably going to be something under the table or cleaning houses like my mom or going into the kitchen like my aunt and just kind of figuring it out. I couldn't go to the army. I knew if I wanted to go to college, I had to pay out of pocket and I didn't know what that meant. I wasn't even sure if I could go to college. I didn't have any plans. I remember the teachers talking about five-year plans after high school and whatnot. I always hated that conversation because I didn't know. I had no idea what I could do, which was really frustrating because my parents always said, "(24:00/Spanish)"; get good grades; do this; if you do everything right, then you can do anything you want. But for me I didn't feel like that was true. While you were growing up, did you ever meet any peers in the same situation? I had one friend in high school. I knew that she was undocumented because when all our friends started getting jobs, me and her were the only ones that didn't. I think we talked about it at one point and confirmed it, but we never really discussed it. We never really shared how to manage 11 with it or nothing. It was just kind of and unspoken thing. She knows I'm undocumented; I know that she was undocumented. That was kind of it. Other than that, no. The only people I talked to about it was at home. There were never any organizations or clubs at school that helped inform undocumented students? No, not when I was in school, no, not in high school. I remember I never even talked to my counselors about it or anything. My brother went to the same high school that I did. His senior year I went back. I can't remember what it was, but I went to go meet with his counselor. As I walked in, one of the counselor's doors had a big butterfly poster and it said, "Dreamers welcome." I didn't think how much I needed that until I saw it, just to know, yes, maybe it wasn't there when I was there, but it is there now. I don't know. That was pretty amazing to see. Even though it wasn't when I was there, it was still there when my brother was there, which I feel like it's not that far away from when I was there. Can you tell me the names of the elementary school, the middle school and the high school that you went to? Yes. I went to Fay Herron Elementary School and then I went to O.K. Gragson for fifth grade. Then I went to Dell H. Robison for middle school. I graduated from Desert Pines and I went there for freshman and sophomore year, but my junior year I actually went to Rancho High School. Can you tell me about how those two schools changed? I went to Rancho High School as well and I know that the student population there is Hispanic. It's largely Latinos. Can you tell me how your perceptions of your undocumented status changed when you knew that 12 there were more people like you there? At Rancho? Yes. I actually went to Rancho on pretty bad circumstances. I got expelled from Desert Pines my sophomore year for getting into a fight with one of my best friends and I went to Rancho. I didn't really know anybody there and I was really devastated that I had been kicked out of my school with all my friends and all my peers. I actually just focused on school. My dad did an amazing job in advocating for me and saying, "My daughter wants to go back to Desert Pines and she wants to graduate there." I don't know what he did, but I remember one day he came home and he said, "The superintendent said that if you get good grades"—because I was starting to fall behind just because I didn't know what to do anymore. They said that if I got really good grades, I could go back to Desert Pines and graduate there. That was the one thing that I focused on. I remember just doing all my classwork, sitting in my class, just being quiet, just doing whatever I had to do to get good grades and go back to Desert Pines. My cousin was at Desert Pines at the time…I would spend time with her. I don't think I ever really connected with anybody there, unfortunately. How you mention now looking back and seeing how predominately Latino it is and seeing how active their student organization for Latinos is, I wish I would have, but unfortunately, I didn't. Did you participate in any extracurricular activities while in school? A lot of my friends were in student council, so I would participate in a lot of the student council stuff through them. I never actually joined, but I would always help with fundraisers and putting on events; stuff like that. I did Camp Anytime as well my senior year. It's a community kind of nonprofit, but it focuses on juniors and seniors in high school to kind of teach them about the 13 different oppressions that we face and the different structures that are in place and how we evolve from that and change some of those systems. I went to that my senior year with a couple of classmates through my psychology class. But I didn't really join a lot of student groups. Can you tell me what you did after high school? After high school I ended up getting a job in the kitchen. I started working as a cook. At first it was a pastry cook and then I worked my way through the line and did that. Then finally after about a year and a half, I had enough money saved up to go back to school, so I went to CSN [College of Southern Nevada]. I tried to enroll and they turned me down because I didn't have a social security. That was really hard. I just continued working. I decided that if I didn't have any other things that I could actually do or that I wanted to do that I would focus on cooking. I was pretty lucky to work with some really great chefs and just kind of worked my way around the kitchen and I figured that that would be my career. Where were you working? I was working at the Venetian. That was my first job. I worked as a line cook there for about five years. When you were younger you said that you didn't know if you could go to college. When did you realize that you could, in fact, apply and go to college? I started hearing stories on the news and social media and hearing about these dreamers that were doing these amazing things and going to college and whatnot. I think that's when I realized that I could go. I just didn't know where I could go or how to do it because I knew that college was really expensive. I knew that my parents couldn't afford it. I couldn't afford it either. I think the biggest thing was figuring out how to pay for it. It was after high school. It was probably about two years that I kind of started digging a little deeper to figure out how to go to school. 14 What did you do after CSN rejected you? That's when I decided that I was going to make culinary my career. I remember growing up and my parents would always say, "You have to work hard at school because you don't want to end up like your mom, cleaning houses, or your aunt at a restaurant or your dad at a factory." Those were always the main points of them pushing us to do good in school. It was really hard to work in a kitchen. Not to look down on that work, but my parents wanted something much more for me. They worked their whole lives and they came here and left everything and they wanted something more. To feel like I was failing them was really hard. I just focused on culinary and I put my head down and everything was just chef and just figuring it out. It was really hard because the kitchen is