I was beyond humbled to receive this blessing that is Pura Neta.
From a former alumnus, Carmen:
This is part 2 of my story on IG, but I felt had to share here because people should be recognized and celebrated!
You probably don’t know this story Benjamin Bac Sierra but you should know you changed my life and helped me to keep pursuing my higher education. Thank you 🙏
At CCSF, my friend and I were two young Latinas in pursuit of a way out of our toxic environments, in pursuit of a better life, in pursuit of going against the odds, in pursuit of getting ahead, in pursuit of happiness and in pursuit of living out our dreams. We both had very different career paths yet, came from the same struggle, the same socio economic background, and we both faced the same racist inequalities all other minorities face. I will never forget how much we struggled in math and literally lived at the math lab lol. But what I will always remember about this baddy is the day I almost gave up, the day I felt like higher education was not for me.
I remember I had an English professor who told me I couldn’t write. So when I went to receive help in the writing lab she was shocked to see me there. As scared and intimidated as I felt by her looks, I asked her for help. She then approached me and said the most outrageous bigoted response that I will never forget. She told me that I shouldn’t be there, that school wasn’t for me and that I should go look for a job in retail or such…. As anyone could imagine I felt everything about imposter syndrome running through me. I walked away and began to cry and felt INADEQUATE, WEAK, MEDIOCRE, INFERIOR and the worst feeling was that I was trying to convince myself to QUIT! However, I truly believe that God aligns us with the right people all the time and that nothing is in vain.
I ran into my dear friend and she saw me disoriented, a hot mess, and asked what was wrong. After telling her, like a true warrior, like a real friend she lifted me up and said F*** that white B*** you are not gonna quit!! You are going to withdraw and re-take the class with another professor and so I did. We actually both took the same English class that summer with an English Latino professor who changed my whole life trajectory in that moment. I cannot thank my English professor, who I admire and love so much (and probably doesn’t know this story) but he uplifted me and gave me my power back!
-Class of 2010, CCSF
My love backacha 🙂
You are an estrella, an authentic Homegirl and real-life scholar. It is my honor to know you and to offer amor.
You are a writer!
The goal of writing is that you yourself write about something important to you and that you share lots of love. Amor is complex, yet also very simple. It is very difficult for people to really write about because they do not teach this in any of our institutions. Carmen, in your writing, you prove Amor. You show what it means to be a beautiful intelligent human being.
Gracias for your powerful and very kind words. I am truly humbled, yet my heart is also a bit heavy because I know how hard this world is, and we know how it eats people alive.
We keep going.
Always in All Ways All Amor,
Benjamin Bac Sierra, Your Brother