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Ray's Story

"If you come to BYU, know that you belong here."


I grew up in Provo, my dad is from Mexico City, and my mom grew up in the Bay Area of California. They met in Utah and wanted their kids to have a good life full of opportunities to succeed. My dad grew up in a very poor area in Mexico City, and he came to the US like many immigrants do to pursue the American Dream. Both of my parents worked my whole life. My mom worked graveyard shifts for 20-30 years to provide for us, so I didn’t get to see her a lot which means I didn’t have a traditional LDS Utah upbringing. Neither of them went to college, but because of the sacrifices they made, we were able to grow up in a really good home and community.

I've been worried about whether or not I'm a good disciple, but I will still unashamedly proclaim my love for the Lord. I’ve been at the bottom of the academic scale, but I’ve also been at the top. I’ve been the person who has had a lot of friends, and at other times I’ve been the person who doesn’t have any friends. The parable of the lost sheep is my favorite lesson in scripture because I have felt like the lost sheep; I think we all feel that way at different times in our lives. As a first-generation college student, it can be difficult to navigate the "firsts" that come with being a college student. It’s so important to focus on the one and to build up those around you. If you come to BYU, know that you belong here because you belong to God. BYU can use your talents, your gifts, and your love. Everyone has something to contribute, and one person can make such an impact.