About Me

10686928_1463946117203280_1049986766705359001_nWelcome, and thank you for visiting my Electronic Portfolio!

My name is Manuel Mejia Gonzalez and I am a very outgoing, self-driven, smart and dedicated individual. I like to give everything I have to what I am passionate about. Additionally, I am have a clear vision of how these passions of mine will lead me to achieve my goals later in life. This ability of seeing how my hard work will lead me to success is what allows me to persist and fuels my drive. I have gone through some pretty unique life experiences that have defined the in which I view the world.

As a child I never had any problems communicating with my teachers. I attended a private elementary school in the modest town of Penjamillo Michoacán, Mexico, and was a very carefree boy. However, due to the enormous increase in organized crime in our country, my mother decided to take my two sisters and I to the “Land of Opportunity”, the United States of America. When we arrived to the United States we stayed with my mom’s aunts in California for a few days, but then moved to my grandparents’ house in Springfield, Oregon. At this time I was eleven years old and did not speak a single word of English. After arriving in Springfield, my mother decided to enroll me into Hamlin Middle School. I, however, did not understand how I was going to learn from faculty I could not even communicate with. The next day I was assigned a personal translator, which alleviated my worries for the time being. However, I still did not fully understand most assignments or activities and was under much pressure to keep up with classes while learning a new language. Soon after, my grades began to take shapes of “D’s” and “F’s.” It was at this time when I decided to really apply myself to learning English. I decided to make learning English an imperative part of my life by not only taking the most detailed notes I could as a determined sixth grader, but also by befriending students who only spoke English. It did not take long for me to fully understand any type of conversation and express myself fairly well. However, I did not want stop there. I decided to practice my articulation with my uncles and other family members, who are fluent English speakers. Furthermore, I also kept in contact with my new friends who always taught me new words and phrases, which by the start of my seventh grade year had tremendously developed my fluency. My newly acquired skills made my second year in middle school much easier by comparison to the first one.

 

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Mi mamá

On the meta, I have always been taught to persevere when I truly believe in something. The whole reason I am currently the United States and about to become the first in my family to graduate from a post-secondary education institution is because of the enduring spirit that my mother has planted in me.  I saw my mother take her three children to another country, all not speaking a single word of English and work the seven days of the week, all for my two younger sisters and I to have a better life and the right to pursue happiness. As the oldest, I felt with no other choice but to pursue that happiness and run as fast as I could in the famous “rat race”. The enduring spirit was never forced on me as my mother never made me feel as if I owed her to become a better man. Nonetheless, I owe her.

 

On the other hand, college has been another experience that has forever changed my life. I am a sophomore at Lane Community College and like most college students, I have dreams. Mine are dreams to help my community succeed and dreams to help folks who like me, have to endure less privileged lives.  If you ask the average kid what their dream is, most will respond along the lines wealth and happiness. However, mine is true equity among all systems, my communities’ well-being and, a little more focused on me, buying my mom her own house. Back to equity however, all cultures have different beliefs, which is what often differentiates them. These beliefs make the culture unique, but also make them like all human beliefs, limited. Although my hard work to learn the language and to emerge myself in it could be considered admirable, today I assimilate much less. I expect the system to do what it promises, give me opportunity, equal opportunity. Equal opportunity is often confused with equal treatment, which in the end does not equate to fair chances for all. “How could it not?”, many privileged people might ask. Well, since we are all treated equally under the system, meaning classrooms, courtrooms, or situations in which authorities inform us, it is assumed that we will all interpret the information equally and will process it completely, which often not the case for traditionally marginalized communities.
For example, if I were to enroll in a Spanish class, my fellow students would need much more help than I would, since I am fluent in Spanish, Mexico’s culture and a very proficient writer. This would cause me to get less attention by the professor, since I do not need as much help. Similarly, when reading a book by an American author, many people from Mexico would not understand the enormous connections the author might make with death and para-normality, since they might not necessarily understand how the hegemonic culture in Mexico is limited when it comes to making those connections. Logically, since professors comfortably grasp the concepts and deeply ingrained aspects of the dominant culture within the States, it would only be fair to ask them to be at the very least competent when presented with another culture. Meaning that they at least understand the differences and similarities among cultures. While I am not proposing the irrational motion that they learn all aspects of all cultures, I am suggesting that they are sentimentally intimate with the asymmetrical relations of power and privilege within in and outside of their classrooms.
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Consequently, today I am the Multicultural Programs Coordinator for the Associated Students of Lane Community College (ASLCC),  an Oregon Student Association (OSA) board member through the Oregon Students of Color Coalition (OSCC) branch, The Lane County League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Youth Council president, OSA intern, and a Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan (MEChA) board member. I try my absolute best to make sure that all students are well comprehended and treated differently, according to their needs, in order to give everyone an equitable chance, and made amazing friendships along the way.
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Academically , I am pursuing and will get a bachelors in Psychology and ultimately a Doctorate. In a world in world so reliant on cultural proficiency, Boston University (BU) makes the most sense, since elite students from all 50 states and 130 countries pursue higher education on BU campuses in Boston and at programs in L.A., D.C., in addition to more than 30 other cities on six continents. Furthermore, Boston University has a psychology program with classes such as CAS PS 234 Psychology of Learning, which brings the future teacher in me to a state of utter curiosity. Youth in my community, predominantly youth from traditionally marginalized communities, do not see what they could possibly get from a post-secondary education, even though it could tremendously augment their life satisfaction. Additionally, young adults in from communities of color have been conditioned to believe that because they are people of color, they are a criminals. I want to take this class for many reasons. First, I am going to become a psychology professor, and as one I want to see how I am able to further
My number one priority in BU will rather than to not ace, to learn. Learn from classes like CAS PS 333 Drugs and Behavior, a class in which I can learn and train people how to proficiently reintegrate folks that want quit narcotics. In addition to learning from other classes such as CAS PS 370 Psychology of the Family, a class that I would makes my mouth water, figuratively of course, since with this knowledge I could conduct research to help my community having special focus on traditionally marginalized communities and how children can be encouraged to further their studies in the first place and never fall into the given stereotype.
All of this goes without to mentioning their Honors in Psychology Program, a yearlong institution credited research for majors. The PS 401/402 rooms is where I will passionately spend my senior year in BU, which will help me start my research and help traditionally marginalized communities in my future community, Boston. These type of opportunities to help the community and learn via experiences make me eager to even travel to the other side of the country and achieve my dream of helping my current and future community.
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