First period on Wednesday came as a surprise to some in Mrs. Arismendi’s Spanish class. A special visitor was on hand, to speak directly to DACA students about his story, and how he came to America as an illegal immigrant from Monterrey, Mexico. Since arriving in Texas, he has graduated from Sam Houston High School here in Houston ISD, earned a degree from the University of Houston-Downtown, and now teaches Spanish classes at his alma mater (SHHS).
He also wrote a book titled “Yo Soy Americano” (I am American). “I speak to the students in spanish, and my message is to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities presented to you in this country,” said Salazar. “I want to change their mindsets. Instead of only hoping to work at a restaurant or be a landscaper, I want them to dream of bigger things, like owning a company and going far in life. They need to make things happen, and not sit around feeling like there is no hope, because of their immigration status. I am the perfect example of what you can accomplish, even without being a legal citizen yet.”
SALAZAR FEATURED IN HOUSTONIA MAGAZINE (Link to the story)
Junior Delly Sapon listened with keen interest. Here is her recap of his message:
Today I had the opportunity to listen to a very promising and moving speech from Carlos Salazar, a teacher at Sam Houston High school and the author of the book “Yo Soy Americano.” The book is about some of the hardships immigrants went through whilst crossing the American border. In the book he mentions what he went through, how his family struggled and what pushed them to immigrate to the United States.
Wisdom HS News
He later went on mentioning some of his early life, his struggles and remembering the spark that makes him work hard every day which has to do with him being a Dreamer. He then said something shocking to the audience, something that had to do with his mother almost passing away right next to him. His father asked him to go get help and he went to a nearby neighbor to ask if he could take them to the nearest doctor, the neighbor then said no because he didn’t want his car to get filled with blood. He explained the arrogance of some people when they have something you don’t, and how you can use that as motivation and push yourself harder to get where you want to be.
He ended his speech asking the audience if they wanted to stay where they are at now, working in a minimum wage job and paying $700 rent, or if they wanted to achieve greater things and instead of working for someone, they’d be their own bosses. He continued saying that they shouldn’t care if they were being defined by the color of their skin or where they are from, but for reaching places they weren’t expected to reach and demonstrate how immigrants and people of color can get to places where they weren’t expected to reach.