Discrimination still runs rampant in Western countries – leaving visible minorities with language barriers to be marginalized and discriminated against. In an essay published by the Times, Carolina Sosa, a high school student, describes her efforts in helping her immigrant parents survive the systemic discrimination.
"Just another illegal looking for a job," the chubby cashier whispers to his coworker as my dad and I walk out of the convenience store. We had just driven up to buy lunch, and my dad was delighted to see a "Help Wanted" sign.
"Mi hija, por favor pregunta si puedo aplicar" he eagerly pleads to me. Despite my hesitations of seeing an army of white-faced workers, I reluctantly agreed to ask the chubby cashier for an application. The cashier, whose name tag said Dave, informed us that the first part of the application was a verbal interview. Dave would ask the questions, and my dad would do his best to respond. His English was broken and he frequently looked to me for translating. After a few questions Dave concluded the interview and looked over to me.
"Listen, girl. He's over 60 and speaks no English. There is no way we would hire him." His tone was rude, but I sadly understood why my dad wasn't hired. I faced my hopeful dad and watched his smile drop as I told him that Dave just remembered that they hired someone yesterday and that they really couldn't afford to hire anyone else. My dad was disappointed, but nonetheless he graciously shook Dave's hand and thanked him for his time.
找工作对每一个人来说都很困难，但是在一 个到处都是戴夫这样的人的世界里，它变成了几乎不可能的事情。戴夫们一看到我的家人就会立刻看扁我们，认为我们是贫穷、没有接受过教育的非法移民。戴夫们 永远不会让我的父亲通过第一轮工作申请。我和我的兄弟进入商店时，戴夫们就会像老鹰一样紧盯着我们。戴夫们会纠正我母亲的语法，丝毫不顾及她的感受。因为 世界上有戴夫们的存在，我成了家人的守护者。对于他们的行为，我就理解为“典型的美国人”就是这样的。我说服母亲，他们只是在盯着她新买的可爱钱包看。我 说服父亲，他们朝我们大声嚷嚷，只是店铺的推销。除了当一个守护者，我还是一个倡议者，我要确保自己的家人永远不会被人占便宜。我总是在留心那些骗局，以 及与事实不符的表述。买卖车辆时，都由我来问所有的问题。我要确保所有细节都要谈到，所有具体问题都有解答。
Job searching is difficult for everyone, but in a world full of Daves, it's almost impossible. Daves are people who look at my family and immediately think less of us. They think illegal, poor and uneducated. Daves never allow my dad to pass the first round of job applications. Daves watch like hawks as my brother and I enter stores. Daves inconsiderately correct my mother's grammar. Because there are Daves in the world, I have become a protector for my family. I excuse their behavior as just being a "typical American." I convince my mother that they are only staring at her lovely new purse. I convince my dad they are only shouting about store sales to us. Aside from being a protector, I am also an advocate. As an advocate, I make sure my family is never taken advantage of. I am always looking out for scams and discrepancies. I am the one asking the questions when we buy or sell a car. I make sure all details are discussed and no specifics are left unanswered.
I have been committed to helping my parents since I was 8 years old. Although I didn't always enjoy acting like a mini-adult, I was always delighted to see my parents smile when I finished a task. I quickly came to a conclusion that I liked making other people happy. It felt good to do something for others that they couldn't do for themselves. My parents never shielded me from reality. I was very aware of their past struggles with poverty and I knew how lucky I was to have food on the table, a roof over my head and a school to attend, and after years of helping just my parents, I decided to expand my clientele: I began volunteering.
I have volunteered at soup kitchens, retirement homes, public libraries and parks. I have worked with inspiring leaders, traveled to unique locations and met with engaging people of all ages. I quickly developed a love for both service and my community, and after eight years the love still flourishes.
I am excited to widen my impact and hope to pursue a career in either public service, politics or diplomacy. I am so grateful for all the support I have received. From caring public school teachers to subsidized lunches, the United States has put me on a path to success. Undoubtedly this path wasn't always paved, but rugged and relentless feet have carried me along.
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