by CSF Alumnus Antoine Peralta Castro
I am the oldest of four children. My mom and dad have worked hard every day to give us a brighter future. They both came from Mexico and lived a hard life there. My parents didn’t go to school all the time. My dad had to work to help his parents from a young age. My mom had to do the same. My parents told us from a young age that they never had any chance at school. They always told me to do well in school because that can change my future.
Every day I see that my parents work hard just to make sure my brothers and I have opportunities. I have gotten the chance to go many places because I have good grades. My parents tell me each day to do well in school. And every day I try to.
My twelve year old brother, Emmanuel, can see that I have done many things and he wants to follow in my steps. My other brother, Steven, is seven years old. He is very bright. He has no problem with tests and homework. He always finds a way around any problem. My youngest brother, Thiago, is one year old.
In middle school, I remember that on the day of an award ceremony, my teacher asked me how to say my name because she was going to give me an award. I already knew that I was going to get one award but little did I know that I would get two more. I had worked so hard that year and the past year to go far. I really wanted to do well and worked hard non-stop. I would fail in something then learn how to do it better and got much better.
Our Lady Queen of Angels helped me reach my full potential. I worked hard and the school kept pushing me. They pushed me and taught me to be my best at all times, no matter what happened. Even when I failed a test, they taught me to keep pushing forward and do my best.
My favorite subjects are math, science, and social studies. I am very good at numbers. Social Studies I have liked since I was in 7th grade. The teacher that I had made me more focused on social studies. The love that I have for social studies is due to my teacher.
I have wanted to become a brain surgeon since third grade. If a surgeon helps someone, that person has a smile on their face. I would love to bring many smiles to people when they think that hope is all gone. I want to bring hope to people when they are in a dark time and give many people a second chance when they think they have lost all of them.
Also, I would really love to help the people that have helped me since the start. My teachers helped my parents. They have done everything for me. They have taught me to work hard.
If I didn’t get my scholarship, my parents would have had a very hard time trying to pay for my school. But thanks to Children’s Scholarship Fund, I gained a scholarship. Now that I am older, my brothers get to go to Our Lady Queen of Angels. I have left, but the scholarship has stayed with my brothers. It has given them the chance of education that I was given. I wouldn’t have gone far if it weren’t for this scholarship. My brothers now have the same opportunity that I have had for an education.
I think that the school that a family chooses for their child is a very important choice. That is a choice that every family should have. No matter if you are poor or rich, the choice helps form a child’s future.
Antoine Peralta Castro is a ninth-grader at Cristo Rey New York High School, where every student works one full day a week through the school’s Corporate Work Study Program. As a CSF Scholar, he attended Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem. His post originally appeared on the American Federation for Children website as part of their Voices for Choice series.