How did you feel when you won your case?
It was great! Very very nice. I felt really excited.
What was it like adjusting to a new country?
When I came it was hard because I didn’t know the country. I couldn’t even go to the store. I would get lost on the corner! Now I’ve gotten used to it. I am going to be able to study here, then go to college, and then become someone important in the U.S..
What I like most about here is the safety. I can go out to walk and play soccer without any fear. You can even see children with their mothers walking; in my country you can’t walk [safely].
How is the process of learning English going?
At first it felt difficult. But now I can converse in English.
My little brother speaks English because he was born here. I practice with him. Sometimes he speaks to me in Spanish and I say to him, “Speak to me in English so that I can practice!”
Do you have a favorite class in school?
It’s biology. I really like to talk about nature, animals, the human body, the entire world! It’s very interesting.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I really like to play soccer, it’s my passion. And I like to play my favorite instrument, the piano. I’ve played the piano since I was eight or nine years old. I learned at church because there was no musician and I decided, ‘I’m going to play.’
I can also play the bass, the accordion, the drums, and the trumpet. I want to learn how to play the guitar.
What are your plans for now and your dreams for the future?
Right now, my goal is to get to 12th grade, finish it, and later go to college. I would like to go to USC. When I finish college, I would like to form a musical group with some friends.
In Guatemala, I planned to graduate with a degree in business. I can imagine myself running a big business.
Do you have any advice for young people trying to settle into the U.S.?
The first thing I would say to them is not to come with the ambition of just working. Come with the ambition of making something of themselves. They have to learn English. And then, study a lot, get good grades, and get to know people--like teachers--who can help them and advise them. They are not going to remain in high school, that’s just preparation. They need to think, “Okay, I want to be different, I want to go to college. I want to have new horizons and new adventures.”