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Monday, July 28, 2014

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'A Princeton Story'


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The Alvarez siblings talk about their experience at Princeton. Read more.


Video Closed Captions

[MUSIC]

ANA: My parents are both from
a very small town in Mexico.

My dad finished sixth grade, and
my mom only finished up to

fourth grade because she had to
help out with the family.

We started out in the South
Side of Chicago.

That's where my parents bought
their first home when they

first came to this country.

Growing up, it wasn't
a good education.

My dad decided that he had had
enough, and he didn't want us

being raised in that atmosphere
with the school

being so overpopulated.

He felt that we could get a
better education, so he moved

us up to Skokie, where,
immediately, we were placed

into advanced math and
reading classes.

And for my parents, it
was a good change.

It was worth the sacrifices.

We're the first ones in our
family to go college, so it

was a new experience for us.

My counselor would show up
during my lunch period and

tell me that she couldn't just
let me not apply to an Ivy

League school.

I should really thank her for
encouraging me so much to

apply here, because I truly have
had four wonderful years.

CESAR: I was right
there when Anna got her email

from Princeton.

I picked her up and

I was like, congrats.

It just means so much to have
her go here, just to go to

college, but have her come
here was just a blessing.

ANA: I remember just looking at
that page and just saying,

congratulations, you're in.

And just like, not
believing it.

CESAR: We had the same
counselor, and she also

played a big role.

She came up to me, and she was
like, you saw what happened

with your sister.

You have nothing to lose.

Just go for it.

I was just ecstatic to see the
two orange tigers at the top

of the page, saying,
congratulations, and then my

financial aid award at the
bottom was just mind-blowing.

JOSE: At first, I
never would have thought of

Princeton, and then my sister
got in, and then it became

more of an option.

And then my brother got
in, and it wasn't an

option for me anymore.

It was more like
an expectation.

I started to think about how
my brother and sister were

here, and how I'm so close
to them, and it'd be

great to come here.

ANA: I hang out with Jose
a little bit more.

I'm used to working with him.

We go down to the Forbes
dining hall and work at

night-- do homework together.

JOSE: I knew coming
into college that I was going

to do some sort of engineering,
but I was still

undecided between civil
and mechanical.

ANA: So I looked into
engineering--

chemical engineering--

and for me, it really seemed
like the right choice.

CESAR: I was actually
better at math and science

than I was at reading, just
because of English being a

second language.

ANA: My second home here has
been the dining hall.

It has really played a huge
impact on my life.

I started out as a worker,
moved up to a captain, a

student manager, and I'm
currently a coordinator.

I like being a positive
influence on their lives, and

knowing that they can reach out
to me, and they will if

they need anything.

JOSE: There's no other
place I imagine myself

going, other than
with my brother

and sister at Princeton.

ANA: We had some
rough moments.

My dad had five brain surgeries
my sophomore year,

which was really hard on us.

But more than that, my mom was
diagnosed with breast cancer

last January.

I've done
a lot of what

I've done for my parents.

And I know they will be very
proud of me, and I'll be very

proud of them for just allowing
me to get here and

making sure I got
to this point.

[MUSIC]

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