Caught in the Middle

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

It can be tricky pronouncing my name, Camila Sofia (Cah-me-lah / Soh-fi-ya) - Spanish accent and all. I’m a Latin American with bittersweet Colombian coffee from home running through my red, white, and blue veins. Identifying myself as a “Latin American” has helped me realize who I truly am. I was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a place where I was scared to be Latina, but my heart was molded together in Cali, Colombia, the city of my dreams.

I’ve always felt the need to hide one side of me. When I got to school, I was American, English only. My name was Camila, drop the accent (Cuh-mill-uh). I felt the need to erase the name that sat uncomfortably, like hot Cholula sauce in the mouths of my first-grade peers. And the Spanish I spoke at home was no longer a part of me for the 6 hours I spent at school each day. The memory of my mami’s sweet crooning voice saying “Mija, amor, mi vida” were all erased as soon as I stepped through the doors of my elementary school. The language that had taught me what love and family was, became nothing more than a string of foreign syllables sewn together to the kids at school.

I can still close my eyes and remember my abuelito picking me up from school each day in a dark blue Lincoln with even...

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