My 8th Grade Teacher Changed My Life

Like Many Students in My Hometown of Salinas, I Just Needed a Small Push to Learn How to Push Myself

Arismel Tena

Forbes says my hometown of Salinas is the second least educated city in the U.S. According to a number of measures, it’s also one of the poorest places in California. But as a college student who grew up there, and still comes home every summer, I feel rich. I owe that feeling to being from Salinas, a small city amidst big fields with so many young people who are rich in culture and thinking.

When I was 10 years old, my two parents and five siblings moved from Mexico, where I …

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