Mildreth Vasquez is a junior in Millbrook High School. She is from San Jose Manialtepec, Oaxaca México. She came here because she and her family wanted a better life and to achieve the American dream. In Mexico, the things that she really needed, and anything necessary for her family’s survival, were not in stores.
She said, “It’s hard to learn a new language that you don’t know because I’m afraid that people will make fun of me by my accent or saying words wrong.” When she went to school here for the first time, she felt scared and unwelcome. Mildreth felt like this because she felt like an outsider. She wants to know English because it will help her in the future, and she is happy to know two languages.
She has friends in school and other places that are not in the ESL class. She loves to write and babysitting because she loves taking care of children. In the summer, Mildreth works at a vineyard full of grapes to help her family. She considers herself as a shy person who doesn’t like to go to parties, but enjoys hanging-out with her friends. Mildreth is not involved in any clubs because she is afraid of being excluded for her differences.
When asked what she would change about Millbrook, she said, ”Everyone should help people that are new to the school and that don’t speak English because no one helped me out when I came.” Another thing she said wants to happen is for students make people feel welcome to the school rather than feeling abandoned and/or afraid.