I grew up in El Paso where most little girls dreamed of becoming mothers and housewives. I wasn’t like most little girls, my dreams didn’t look like that, and for a long time I was shamed and teased when I would share my dream of becoming a lawyer with my family and friends. It was too outlandish, too far-fetched, and too costly. In high school, I didn’t have a mentor, but my English teacher was my go to on most of my education and career questions. At the time, my parents didn’t know the first thing about the applications process for college because they had not traveled the path I was creating. I learned a lot on my own and believed in my dreams of becoming a college graduate. I graduated from Southwestern University, May 2015 with a major in History and a minor in English.
My journey led me to the Dream Come True Foundation (DCTF) where I was introduced to a mentoring team that changed my life. Chris and Ronnye Stidvent, a husband and wife team who are both lawyers, became a priceless resource for me because I now had ears to listen to my ideas, thoughts, and goals. Ronnye Stidvent is also from El Paso and continued to encourage me to reach for the sky. Knowing that Ronnye could break the El Paso mold little girls are trapped in made me hopeful for my future. A lot of people are very ambitious and intelligent but you also have to have the right encouragement, and I found that in my mentors, Chris and Ronnye.
Fast forward, on February 25, my dream was closer to becoming a reality as I submitted several applications to a number of top rated law schools. As a little girl, I placed princess and lawyer in the same category.so many people told me time and time again that this goal was not attainable nor doable. After graduating from Southwestern I was slowly feeling like my dream was an attainable reality that I could accomplish. Law school would be my reality.
Now my younger brothers are pursuing their education and career dreams. One is considering graduate school and my younger brother wants to be a surgeon. Although I was and always will identify as a first generation student, my brothers don’t have to be the first to go into the fray and battle with compass of life they can just focus on being confident in pursing their dreams and have someone to turn to for guidance.
In April, I made my decision. I submitted 12 applications and received offers from seven schools. It was an amazing challenge to decide where I would pursue my law degree. When I received an offer from New England Law School in Boston, MA for a $35K scholarship per year I knew this is where I will pursue a law degree in Education Policy. I accepted New England’s offer and plan to relocate to Boston in the fall.
Congratulations, Bertha! We're so proud of you!
From All of Us at Dream Come True