By Leida Nunez
I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I grew up in place called Lloren Torrez where I went through a lot of mental and emotional abuse. The only thing that gave me hope is my mother, my world and my universe Sabrina Rodriguez. Growing up in Puerto Rico isn’t for the weak and it definitely made me the person I am today. I can remember everything that happened like it was yesterday! From my mom being physically abused and beaten to hearing gunshots every five minutes or every time my home got shot up here and in PR. I remember having to stop eating because my mom was screaming at me and my siblings to get on the floor. My mother had enough and decided to leave everything behind in Puerto Rico so that my siblings and I could have a better life.
When we got to Rochester, NY my aunt picked us up and we stayed at her house for 27 days till she kicked us out and told us to go live at a shelter but my mom found us a home the same day. My father wasn’t really in the picture so my mom’s oldest son took over the father role. I looked up to my brother! He joined a baseball travel team and the first time I saw him play I fell in love with the sport of baseball and joined the league too. Sports became more than just sports for me, they became my outlet and my peace because when I played sports nothing else mattered to me. I have always been passionate about sports. After falling in love with baseball I proceeded to try volleyball and basketball and I really started to enjoy them.
Puerto Rico wasn’t the only place where I went through some traumatic things. On July 17th, 2016 I lost my aunt. She was murdered in her home on her birthday and I completely lost myself again because she was always a big support system! Two days later my house got swatted because they were looking for my uncle and when they caught him he had a trial and now is serving 47 to life. That was also something that affected me because I love my uncle because he is the first person to ever believe in me and tell me that I’m going to be great and that he’ll be seeing me on tv from wherever he’s at.
When my uncle went to jail and my aunt passed, I decided that I want to get into criminal justice when I go to college because I’ve seen people get killed and when the justice system fails to do their job, a family suffers. I've always said that I’ll get a scholarship for one of the sports I play so that I can go to college and prove to my family that there's more than just the streets and that I’m living proof that just because you grow up seeing guns doesn’t mean you have to pick them up.
Being a lawyer is a great fit because I have the attitude to get my point across and eventually persuade the person to think how I'm thinking. Based on my career research the career that interest me is being a lawyer because I feel like I wouldn’t get tired of arguing and meeting new people and understanding what they have been through because there's so much more than just arguing with someone. You have to understand what made the person what they are and why they are that way. I'm not doing just for me but for my mom and my little sister because they are everything I have. That no matter what they see, who they are or where they were born they can do anything because if you work hard you can accomplish everything.