Recent high school graduate Ms. Mireysi Cabrera was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Díaz-Balart Scholarship. Ms. Cabrera won the scholarship by satisfactorily meeting the scholarship’s requirements.
In June of 2012, Ms. Cabrera graduated with a 3.20 GPA from Ebenezer International Christian Academy located in Hialeah, Florida. Prior to attending Ebenezer Academy, Ms. Cabrera attended Miami Springs High School where she was a member of the National Honors Society Club and performed more than 300 hours of community service by volunteering at Fair Heavens Nursing Home and Miami Children’s Hospital.
Mireysi was born and raised in Cuba. Not happy with the conditions in Cuba under Castro’s regime, Mireysi, along with her mother and brother, left Cuba when she was fourteen years old.
In her “Educational Opportunities within the American Democracy” essay, Ms. Mireysi Cabrera describes the frustrating and heart-breaking life she led in Cuba. However, shortly after leaving the island and moving to the United States, Mireysi had her hopes lifted when she realized the wonderful opportunities that living in a great democracy provided.
Ms. Cabrera will be applying her scholarship towards obtaining a degree in Accounting from Florida National University (FNU). She will be starting in the fall of 2012.
Florida National University is proud to have awarded Mireysi Cabrera the Lincoln Díaz-Balart Scholarship and to have her as a student.
Below is Ms. Mireysi Cabrera’s essay. Please feel free to read it.
“Educational Opportunities within the
“I haven’t been given many things, but I have been given the gifts of ample, limitless patience and perseverance: two important and necessary qualities you need to survive when you are born under Castro’s communism. I have always been a girl with my own ideas and opinions and I had to learn to live with a great deal of pressure on my shoulders. As a Cuban, I wasn’t allowed to write nor express the truth under Castro’s dictatorship. Surprisingly, living under such an oppressive regime did not take away my perseverance, perspective, and desire to strive for my goals.
When I was in the 9th Grade, I was supposed to know what I wanted for my future. I knew that if I wanted to have a prosperous future I had to study something relative to the tourism or exporting business; but if I didn’t have money to pay for the exams. The teachers would ask for bribes. If I could not pay them off with bribes, the teachers would say, “Forget about getting a good grade or even finishing the career.” That is how it was for the first fourteen years of my life because of it. I can say that I know what it means to work hard for the things I want to achieve in my life.
In my country, when you start your career, you must work as farmer for two months out of the year. It is a waste of your time and your parent’s money. It is done because you are not allowed to work until you turn 18 years of age. In these “farms” you can easily get stressed because of the terrible living conditions: everything is dirty, the showers are cold even in winter, and you must sleep in an uncomfortable bed, eat crumbs of disgusting food and be far away from your family. The worst part of it is that you live with your eyes completely closed by the regime, without knowing what is really happening outside or even inside your own country.
Three years ago my mom, my brother, and I were claimed by my grandparents who came to the United States because they were political prisoners under Castro’s dictatorship. When I arrived here, I finally saw the truth. I saw how Castro manipulated the people, and how he created a false illusion from a grim reality. The United States is the country of freedom, opportunities, and of dreams coming true.
In the United States, I am allowed to study what truly interests me. I can demonstrate all my abilities and capacities. Here I can fly; I can dream and speak with no fear. In this country, I know that if I work hard, I will be properly compensated for my hard work. In the United States, I know that it does not matter who your parents are, or if you have a lot of money, what matters most is that if you are willing to work hard you can achieve your dreams.
I am confident that my dreams of getting a good education and reaching my professional goals will soon become a reality because now I really do live in the land of opportunity.”
About the Lincoln Díaz-Balart Scholarship
The Díaz-Balart Scholarship has been established by Florida National University to honor the Díaz-Balart family. Political immigrants from Cuba, the Díaz-Balart family has continued in the United States its long history of public service, which began many years ago in their homeland.
The scholarship is awarded to a student who is an immigrant to the United States of America. The scholarship is to be awarded every year to the winner of an essay contest, written by high school candidates on the subject of “Educational Opportunities within the American Democracy”.
Deadline: June 1
Basis for Selection: Must be an immigrant to the United States of America. The content of the essay and the writing skills exhibited in the essay. Source of the Díaz-Balart Scholarship: College revenue.
Sum Awarded: The complete tuition cost of the program for baccalaureate and associate degree programs offered by FNU.
Find out about the other scholarship opportunities FNU has available by clicking here: