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Higher Achievement

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Raquel L

Sitting in a room filled with anxious, stressed out and motivated seniors, I was introduced to topplers and their movement for the first time. But really, I suppose I should share what got me to this point, sitting with my peers at the brink of a new beginning and life beyond high school. It all started when I was a young girl. Growing up with a mother who came to the United States illegally and a father who grew up farming in Missouri, I learned the value of hard work quickly. I have watched my mother work from 3 am in the morning to 1 pm in the evening everyday of my life. She works as a janitor for the University of Colorado, has never received a raise, and was only able to attend school until the second grade in Mexico. Throughout grade school, middle school and high school my parents have served as my pillars of support as well as my guides and examples of strength. I can honestly say that all of my success today and the very fact that I am here, a senior accepted into Stanford and valedictorian of my class, is a direct result of the loving, nurturing, and ambitious goals of my mother and father who transcended national borders, circumstantial obstacles, and low finances to build the family that I love.