“I knew when I was 8 years old that I was going to be a lawyer. The challenge was that other people in school and in my community did not see me in that role. And so then at 14, I had the experience of a guidance counselor telling me that I would just be a Puerto Rican girl with 5 different kids from 5 different baby daddies and did not have the “potential” to make it in college. Then when I applied to and was admitted to Mount Holyoke College, he said ‘What’s a girl like you going to do at Mount Holyoke? There are no Puerto Ricans at Mount Holyoke.’ And he was right, there weren’t many of us. Looking back now the challenge for me was that I had a vision for myself that other people did not see, would not support nor ascribe to. People often have a perception of who you are supposed to be and it’s really hard for many of us to untangle that projection from our own visions for ourselves. I believe this happens frequently to our young people. Often, our youth don’t have the people, the financial wherewithal, the safety rails to always support them. And when they fall, they don’t get picked up or supported—they literally fall off a cliff and what is a minor mistake for others becomes a life changing, life altering situation. Just being in the wrong place at the wrong time can alter your entire life. These are the issues and experiences that really motivate me in this work. That’s why I came to OPP! Because I know how people perceive our youth. Mostly, they see them full of problems—I see them as full of PROMISE. There is a big difference between those two vantage points.” -Enid Rey, CEO of OPP
OPP is celebrating #givingtuesday by featuring our family in #humansofOPP stories. Remember OPP on #givingtuesday 11/28 and donate today at opp.org.