After opening four disheartening rejection emails, I braced myself for the misery in defeat. There was only one email left, but all hope had left the room. How could I, a poor, gay, brown boy from the ghetto streets of Los Angeles, even fathom Harvard was within arm’s reach? I wiped my tears away as I undid the covers from my bed and locked my bedroom door. I was ready to cave into lifelong mourning. I sat down, I clicked open, and I immediately looked away, scared of the words that would decide the course of my life forever. “We are delighted to inform you…” I looked back to make sure I had seen correctly, and as the tears came again, I caved into the ravenous feelings of liberation. ¡Soy libre! I was free.


 

Introduction