As a child growing up in Chicago's North East Side, I faced a unique set of challenges. I had to navigate a diverse set of cultures, languages, and customs. I had to learn how to communicate, how to connect, and how to make a difference. Despite the obstacles, I was able to rise above these challenges and thrive. I am proud to be Puerto Rican American a product of my neighborhood, and I am thankful for the opportunity to share my story and to inspire others to persevere through difficult times.