Taking the Bull by the Horns: Vivan Los Doyers!

I was about 4 when I fell in love with the Dodgers. My Dad loved watching baseball and  that meant, I did too. I was the Son he never had. He was the Dad I was meant to have. Fernando Valenzuela showed up to the scene soon after. And that rocked my world. He was from the same part of Mexico our people are from and well, for the first US born kid of our family, having that connection was really powerful. Being ni de aqui, ni de alla sucks when you haven’t mastered Spanish at 4 and like the kids they were, my older cousins never let me forget that I couldn’t speak Spanish well. But somehow I forgave them and understood them because being a Mexican immigrant is hard. I saw them in him. And EL TORO became Chicano goals incarnate. He represented so much to me. And I totally fought through my shyness when he came to Middleton Street Elementary in Huntington Park with his message of hope and told hundreds of Mexican-American kids to stay in school. His message of hope and belief in education clearly left an impact on my heart.

Last night was one of my lifelong dreams come true: I was at the World Series! I’m thrilled that I could experience it with my fam bam. Pure Joy.

Tonight, I’m watching the game from home and you best believe that I’ll be lighting the Veladoras! And I’ll be thinking about Fernando Valenzuela, Sonora, my family’s journey, immigrants, the spirit of Los Angeles and the commitment to stay in school. Staying in school was one of the best things I’ve ever done. And I know that Fernando’s message of staying committed to education is something that carried me to finish school when it got hard. And it got hard often. I wish I could show him my masters degree from UCLA and thank him for inspiring me and thousands of other Chicanos over 30 years ago! We need more athlete-leaders talking and advocating for education now. Baseball is a sport with many Latino athletes; we need them to inspire Brown kids today.

Even then, Fernando was setting a standard off the field and we didn’t even know it. Who will step up for this generation?

Let’s plan for that after we win the World Series!

Vivan Los Doyers!

What do you think?

The following two tabs change content below.

Alma V. Marquez

Alma V. Marquez

Alma V. Marquez is the founder of LaComadre.org and is the founder and CEO of Del Sol Group, a communications and public affairs firm focusing on Strategy, Outreach and Leadership in Education, Voter and Civic Engagement. She specializes in parent education, politics and community organizing. She is a proud product of California public schools. She is a graduate of Huntington Park High School in Southeast LA. She also completed her all of credit recovery classes at Maxine Waters Occupational Center in Watts in order to graduate from high school. She attended East LA College and transferred to Occidental College where she earned a Bachelor's degree in English and Comparative Literary Students and Politics. She earned a Master of Arts Degree in Urban Planning at UCLA. Her daughter is a junior in a charter school, chartered by LAUSD. She decided to start the LA Comadre blog because she wanted to create a platform for Latinas and education.

More Comments