Hello! My name is Sebastián, I’m 18 years old and I was born in Pérez Zeledón, the countryside of Costa Rica. After a long road, many challenges, and a lot of hard work, I received almost a full scholarship to Bates College, Class of 2024. Unfortunately, there are some expenses that are not covered by the scholarship including airline tickets to Maine, visa application costs, among others. While these factors have presented an obstacle separating me from my dream, it has not limited my motivation for continue working hard to build my future. I am first-gen to go to college and a full scholarship alumnus from UWC Costa Rica, so this opportunity represents a big accomplishment towards my personal growth and success.
Throughout my lifetime, I’ve come to understand that money is not an excuse to not overcome fears, to achieve goals of obtaining a higher education, and most importantly, to define who I am.
My background might be part of my identity but it is definitely independent of my passions and what I will achieve in the future. This concept has allowed me to believe in myself. This concept of achievement is what brought me to represent Costa Rica in chess during the Central American games in 2013 and 2015, to have the chance to learn English with a scholarship from the US embassy in Costa Rica, and to participate in the 2017 Central American Youth Ambassadors Program, which I believe is evidence that when there is a will, there is always a way.
My family's ability to support me financially and cover these expenses is very small. My father works as a bus driver and my mother as a janitor, having extensive and intensive work hours with money for only the basics at home, which has represented a financially tough time for our family. Notwithstanding, unemployment meant a lack of access to basic resources, which is not really far away from the current situation with COVID-19. I know that being vulnerable can be difficult sometimes, but it helps our stories to be heard.
I truly wish to study at this prestigious university who accepted me after writing my common app essay on one of my passions “The Drag Performance in a conservative country” My dream is to continue being part of the many projects and incredible work being done to create awareness on the topic of queer rights. Most importantly, I hope that my determination to seek out new opportunities to better myself and the world around me will help to show others that anything is possible so long as you’re willing to take action. Having the chance to study at Bates becomes an open door for me to really accomplish all that I have dreamed of. I believe that everyone deserves to have access to education regardless of their background, we all deserve to aspire for a better future, and solidarity is the key for this to happen. That’s why I am not giving up, but rather humbling myself in recognition of my need for your support in this journey I have worked hard to set out on.