Humans of Qualtrics: Omar
MosaiQ is sharing stories of its members throughout September and October for National Hispanic Heritage Month with the Humans of Qualtrics project. Discover Omar's story.
“Sometimes, I feel like I failed you kids. I didn’t go to college; I didn’t even finish high school. I feel like I could have done more than get my certification learning English and work the same job for 20 years.”
Those were my dad’s words in a recent conversation at dinner celebrating his 58th birthday. What you should know is that the first time my father came to the United States, he was crammed in a 5x3x5 space under a garbage truck crossing the US-Mexico border. Once here, he worked various labor-intensive jobs to send money back to his family in Mexico. Under the Reagan administration, he received amnesty and became a citizen of the United States. This ultimately allowed him to obtain residency for my mother and me, enabling a permanent move to the US a week before my 2nd birthday. I laughed hearing my dad minimize moving his family to a new country, learning the language, and raising three kids. I guess you could say that being hard on myself is a quality I inherited from him.
I credit my dad’s decision to cross the border, in search of a better life, as the reason I am where I am today. Being a first-generation Mexican-American immigrant has meant that I’ve encountered a lot of firsts: translating for my parents, applying to and graduating from college, moving to and living in multiple big cities, traveling abroad, financial planning for my future. But it’s also a badge of honor that reminds me that no matter what new challenge I encounter, being scrappy runs through my veins.
Join us on Fridays to discover more stories from the Humans of Qualtrics, and explore the whole series through the links below.
|Omar is an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame and started his career at Accenture.|