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Coachella Valley Teen Defies Odds; Wins Full Scholarship to Harvard

ByJoshua Diaz-Bend

Apr 18, 2021
Image: Elizabeth Esteban (second from left), with her family

April 18th, 2021 – A Coachella Valley student, who is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, defied the odds after being accepted into one of the most esteemed universities in the country.

Elizabeth Esteban said to KABC-TV (ABC7), “No one in this community has been able to accomplish this and I feel very proud and very thankful and very happy because no one here thinks someone from here (Mexico)… can accomplish something like this,”. Esteban has seen struggling living in a trailer home in the Coachella Valley, California area.

Her family is of indigenous Purepecha descent from Michoacán, a region west of Mexico City. They have earned an honest living working in the agricultural field doing different tasks in the sweltering heat. If you still want to donate to Elizabeth Esteban’s College Fund by clicking here, which would be put to good use for her supplies, daily chores, and other arrears.

Girl from indigenous Mexican tribe gets full scholarship to Harvard |  indy100
Image: Elizabeth Esteban with her mother as an infant growing up in Mexico

“Yes, it was worth it because my daughter now has accomplished what she always wanted, her dream of an education and now with more reason, I am very proud that she is completing her goals,” her mother said. Elizabeth Esteban is a prime example that no matter your nationality, your income level, sex, or religion; you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.

The minute you go down the wrong path is when you give up on your aspirations and dreams in life, no matter how insignificant.

Harvard’s latest data reports that, 40% of students accepted are white and only 5% are Latinos, fueling racial disparities in the education system and discouraging a lot of potential applicants. But people like Ms. Esteban are allowing others to hopefully follow in her footsteps and made great strides in showing that the United States can become a beacon of opportunity, which this country was established on and not exclusion.

“Well, at first, I was not going to apply to Harvard because I didn’t feel like my accomplishments earned me the right to attend such a prestigious university,” she said, which creates another obstacle for people with already growing hesitation. But due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and her high school closing like others across the nation, created another roadblock on top of her income level.

“I am one of the students that also has problems with the internet because I use the internet that was given to us by the district,” Esteban said.

Due to the sporadic internet connections and signals across her rural community, she missed some of her intake interviews with Harvard.

“But after, I thought about myself and how I needed to keep fighting and the pandemic was another obstacle I needed to overcome,” Esteban said.

Editor’s Note: More information will be added as this story develops…

Joshua Diaz-Bend

Joshua M. Diaz-Bend is the main author for Awakening The Globe. Started in Jan. 2014 and re-opened this year, we strive for impartiality in the news. Joshua is a Jewish-American freelance writer and outspoken critic to the Israeli government. He chooses not to call himself "anti-Zionist" or "anti-Semitic/self-hating Jew", and states, "I will criticize the Israeli government because the anti-Zionist label makes people assume I am against Israel's right to exist and I have never aligned myself with the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel that my people have yearned for, for a very long time." Joshua is also a freelance graphics and web site designer when he is not working on Awakening The Globe.