ALDINE, Texas — At the dining room table in Aldine where he did much of his homework growing up, YES Prep North Central senior Jaír Sanchez recites part of the essay that got him into college.
“Identity is the most fundamental aspect of a person's existence," he said.
“Three main beliefs, family, culture, and hard work... I wish to bring my Mexican heritage from my community to my campus," he continued reading.
It was the end of March when Jaír learned he was accepted to one of the country's most prestigious universities.
“My work has paid off," he said.
“Once the video played, it said, 'Congratulations, your class of 2027' and then the Yale 'Boola Boola' song was playing. And that was whenever I realized I made it. Like, there were so many emotions running through my mind. I was so happy. I was crying tears of joy.”
He's certainly got the high marks to prove it - a 4.5 GPA and Jaír said he took 10 AP classes.
“I've always just tried my hardest to maintain straight As," Jaír said.
He aspires to be an architect and for this first-generation college student, grades only scratch the surface of who he is and where he started. His parents brought him to the U.S. from Mexico and dreamed of giving their son opportunities they never had.
“Love, money, anything you have him. I told him, 'Don't worry about it. Anything you need. I'm gonna be there for you,'" said his dad, Roberto.
And now Jaír, who's actively involved in the Latino community, isn't forgetting where he came from. He's the President of the school LatinX club, a coach for the National Hispanic Institute in their Texas Great Debate program, and a dancer for the Compañia Folklorica Alegria Mexicana.
“My Latino heritage is an essential part of my identity," Jaír said.
“This is the community that shaped who I am today, they taught me what it means to be me when they taught me my values," he continued.
He hopes to be a blueprint to future generations as he puts his footprint on the Yale campus.
“The moment I walked through those gates and, and I know that that is going to be my next home for the next four years," Jaír said.
Jaír will be attending Yale in the fall on a full ride.