“My mother and I immigrated to the United States just before I turned three years old. We did not have any family here in the United States. My mother was looking for work and she found work, eventually, as a nurse. But she had nobody to care for me. There was no day care centers or anything like that back then. Then, somebody had told her about this woman, and so my mother talked to the woman. The woman said she was willing to take me in while my mother worked. Well, eventually the woman became my grandmother and her husband, my grandfather. All of their children became my uncles and aunts, and their children became my cousins. So, we’re not related by blood, but, over the years, my uncles and aunts would introduce me as their nephew. What I had learned from that is that family is not defined by shared blood or DNA: it’s the sense of caring.”
“You know, there is a statement that says ‘I am a culmination of all the people I’ve met.’ You know, to say that there is one person, one incident, it’s very hard. It’s because so many people have been an influence…To say that it was just one person would be disrespectful to all of the others who were. I find myself over the years saying statements and quotes that other people had taught me; I’d share it with my students and people in general. So, the statement of being a culmination of all the people you’ve met in your life, I think I am; I am a product of all the people I’ve met in my life.”
-Alejandro Delgadillo, Associate Director for Educational Equity and Access
Photo credit: Andree Souder.