Brought into the world by a 15-year-old Latin American women, I grew up in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, N.Y. Being the oldest of five, and the first in my family to finish high school and attend college, was no easy deed. Everyone in my family looked to me as the “Way Out”: the way out of suffering, and as the sense of hope we often never had. My mother always sent me to schools in better neighborhoods so that I could encounter different people and their ways of life. I was surrounded by Caucasian students throughout my elementary and middle school stages of life. I always felt “different” but not in a bad way. I was sure that I was as capable, as gifted, and as driven as my peers around me. I attended Marine Park I.S. 278, in the Mill Basin area of Brooklyn, N.Y. By the time I reached 8th grade I was placed in Einstein Academy which was a group of kids who had the same classes all day every day. This sounds very similar to what the learning community is, but instead we sat in that same classroom all day. A lot of the other kids in school believed we were IEP or slow in some sense because we didn’t move around or had classes with other students. The core subjects of this academy were only the sciences, Biology and Earth Science. Passing the regents to these classes would grant me the opportunity to get high school credits and be advanced in high school, exempting me from having to take these classes again. Through all the struggles, studying, and homework assignments, I passed both classes and both regents.