Written by 5th grade student Lillie Villezcas of Nevada 


I am number 3, but how does number 3 apply to me? I am third generation of an immigrant family, third generation of fading traditions and lost nationalities, but I refuse to let that be me.

My grandmother immigrated into this country with high hopes and her luggage full of dreams. In this country she made a home and started a family, holding on to her culture and her beliefs.

As she passed that conviction to my mother, she knew it was a vow of importance for her to keep. My mother held on to those values a little tighter, but it wasn’t as easy as it seemed, everything is different in the land of the free.

English became my mother’s primary language, she learned to hide her accent till there was no more trace. She began to identify more with her peers, same style, same likes, but certainly not the same face.

I have yet to experience stories such as the ones my mother once told us, a warning to never feel as if we don’t belong. There may be name calling or discrimination, but stay true to yourself, your roots, be brave, and no matter what always stand strong.

Whenever I am in doubt or feel out of place, I recite our national anthem, for this is the home of the brave. Brave like my grandmother when she left for the land of opportunity, brave like my mother when she chose to stay true to herself, rather than just fit in.

Now it is my tum to take the vow to pass on through our next generation, our culture, our traditions, and our appreciation for this nation. For it is easy to forget where we came from, but in my family, I will always find my motivation.

For I am number 3, a number that will always be of meaning to me. I am third generation of an immigrant family, third generation of lasting traditions and 2 nationalities, and the one to carry this on will be me.