Maria Morales is the mother of Fulfillment Fund scholar Kassandra Ballesteros, who graduated from Gertz-Ressler High School in 2015 and will begin her first year at Gustavus College in Minnesota.
Q: What impact has the Fulfillment Fund program had on you?
Elizabeth Zamudio, Fulfillment Fund college counselor, helped our daughter with her college applications and FAFSA. If it wasn’t for her help, we would not be able to help her with the process. It feels like they push you, but it's good because as parents we are not used to deadlines. Especially when it’s your first child, it’s a guide to turn in applications on time. One is more informed and it’s a great help. With Fulfillment Fund, you know you are not alone.
When my daughter had her internship at the Grammy Awards through the Fulfillment Fund, I was able to see that there are other jobs we Latinos are not used to seeing. Usually kids will work at McDonald's or Starbucks, but now they can have a vision for their future and experiment with jobs.
Elizabeth Zamudio le ayudo con sus aplicaciones y FAFSA. Si no fuera por la ayuda de ella, nosotros no le hubiéramos podido ayudar. Se siente como que lo puchan mucho a uno, y es buenos porque como padres no estamos acostumbrados a tener plazos. Especialmente cuando es tu primer hijo, es una guía para meter las aplicaciones a tiempo. Está uno más informado y es una grande ayuda. Con Fulfillment Fund, sabes que no estás solo.
Cuando tuvo su internship con los Grammys te das cuenta de trabajos que uno de latinos no estamos acostumbrados. Usualmente los muchachos trabajan en McDonald’s o Starbucks, ahora tiene visión y pueden experimentar con trabajos más allá.
Q: How have your children changed since being with the Fulfillment Fund?
Kassandra has changed her perspective of things, thanks to her Fulfillment Fund trips to Northern California. She has grown to be more independent and confident. That’s why she wants to go study in Minnesota.
Kassandra ha cambiado en la forma de su perspectiva de ver las cosas más allá, gracias a los viajes de universidad por california. Ella ha crecido para ser más independiente y segura de si misma. Por eso ella quiere irse a Minnesota para estudiar.
Q: What advice would you give to parents who want their kids to go to college?
Find programs like Fulfillment Fund and follow their advice. If the school is offering you opportunities, take advantage of them. I went to visit the Fulfillment Fund offices and was able to meet the staff. Many parents don’t want to go or talk with them because parents’ excuse is that they don’t speak English. That’s not the problem, Fulfillment Fund staff speak Spanish. You have to leave your nest too. For the well-being of your children, educate yourself!
Busquen programas como Fulfillment Fund y sigan los consejos. Si la escuela les ofrece oportunidades aprovéchenlas. Yo fui a visitar las oficinas y pude conocer a gente de Fulfillment Fund. Muchos no quieren ir o hablar con ellos porque no saben inglés. Ese no es el problema, ellos hablan español. Hay que salir de su huevito. Por el bien de tus hijos, ¡edúcate!
Q: What would you like to see more in the program?
I would like for there to be more workshops for parents. It would be best to start as soon as 9th grade. That way parents aren’t afraid of college or talking about it and their first thought won’t be money issues. That way parents know about grades their children need for college, and can support their children. That way there is more discipline too when filling out college applications and not procrastinating. If we don’t start in 9th grade, then by 11th grade we can help. Talking sooner about college will also relieve parents from negative thoughts of college dorms being full of alcohol and drugs, and won’t send their kids because of those thoughts.