My Journey From Farmworker Boy To Pediatrician

Book Excerpt from the Inspiring Story of Ramon Resa, MD:
Excerpt #11 of 17


The end of our junior year is upon us, and my thoughts turn toward my dreams of college. I’m fearful about the future. I have this sense of dread and at the same moment a goal for my future. I want to do something to make Apa take notice because he’s getting old and may die before I have a chance to make him proud of me.

I’ve been preparing for the SATs all year. I dream of attending of Harvard or Stanford, but they‘re just dreams. I won’t apply because I’d need an A+ average and great SATs, but my grades are down to a B+. Although schools look at family situations and financial need, I don’t think those will offset my scores or grades.

On SAT day, I get up early because I’m nervous. The test starts at College of the Sequoias in Visalia at 11 a.m., and Ama will drive me there. I’ve been reminding her all week so she won’t forget. That morning, she tells me she has to run out to see her sister but that there’s plenty of time.

By 10:30, she hasn’t come back and I’m frantic. When she finally shows up and I run out to the car, she doesn’t say anything about why she was so late. When we arrive at COS, luckily I know which building to go to. The moment she stops the car, I take off running. It’s 10:55, and they may not even let me in. But when I get to the room, several students are still in line and I slip in right behind them.

I’m sweating and my heart is racing. And I’m pissed off at Ama for not realizing what this test means for my future. After it’s over, I know I blew the test. I can feel it. But I can take it again in the fall, and those results will have to count. I know that many students buy pre-test materials or take prep courses, but I can’t afford either.

I’m not going to rely on Ama for anything anymore. Next time, I’ll ride my bike from Goshen if I have to. I only have one more chance to change the course of my life, and I won’t allow her to let me down again. Sometimes I wonder whether she’s deliberately trying to sabotage my goals, or whether she just doesn’t realize the importance of education. Ama has a only a third-grade education and Apa never went to school.

It doesn’t matter. I’m not going to take any more chances. From now on, my future will rest solely on my own resources.

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