” I want to learn as much as I possibly can and share it with my community. I know there are many struggles in Santa Ana, but from my experience, everyone has the potential to be a better person every day”.” -Angie Cano
My name is Angie Rosario Cano. I was born in Orange County. However, when I was still a little girl my parents decided to send me to Mexico where I was cared and raised for by my grandmother. I learned to value their decision because I was able to enrich my self with Mexico’s culture and also learned to communicate well in Spanish.
I was enrolled in Mexico’s school system partially from kindergarten through the fourth grade. When I finally reunited with my family in Santa Ana I was enrolled at Jackson Elementary School. Transitioning back into the American school system was not easy. I did not speak English and I had a hard time learning and communicating with others.
At Jackson Elementary School I was placed in a program called Resource Specialist Program (RSP). This program gave me the tools and resources to properly learn English. I had grown up in Mexico and everything in America, including the language, felt different. I grew up in a place where kids did not get free breakfast or free lunch and were expected to buy all their school supplies and textbooks. There was a huge chasm between me and the English-speaking students and I felt like an outsider most of the time. I liked America, and I decided to try my best to fit in and learn English.
After Jackson Elementary I was transferred to Diamond Elementary School, where due to a shortage of space in the overly full classrooms I ended up in an Honors class. That was intimidating but I accepted the challenge and worked harder than ever before. In the end I felt better prepared for sixth grade.
I later enrolled at Carr Middle School where I was classified as an “English Learner.” Such label ended my involvement in the Honors program. However, I was able to enroll in the Honors program again when I reached the seventh grade as I worked hard to gain reentry. In the short span between sixth and seventh grade I was able to improve my reading level and pass the California Standardized Tests with a proficient score. I also joined the Associated Student Body (ASB) and participated in the Academic Pentathlon. I was happy to graduate from Carr Middle School with a 4.0 GPA, the Presidential Award and 6 medals.
After Carr I enrolled at Segerstrom Fundamental High School. The school counselor noted that Honors courses were designed to be more rigorous than those I had encountered at Carr. I ignored her remarks because I knew that I could only improve by challenging myself.
While in high school, many of my friends were in the Gifted and Talented Program (GATE). The counselor suggested that I take the GATE placement test. I scored in the 99th percentile which was amazing given my start in the Resource Specialist Program (RSP).
During my time in high school we were all worried as college was coming up quickly. The higher education coordinator worked with the students and provided us with resources but it was still a stressful process. America was suffering an economic crisis and college acceptance rates fell. I took four advanced placement classes in my junior year and six my in senior year.
I was thrilled when I received my acceptance letter from the University of California, Irvine! I was glad to be accepted by a prestigious university so close to home and to have completed three majors in Economics, Political Science, and Spanish Literature.
Learning is my passion!
Even though the future is uncertain, I hope to become like one the fruitful trees mentioned in Ezekiel:
“And on the banks on both sides of the river will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail…and their fruit shall be for food, and their leaves for healing” (Ezekiel 47:12).
I want to be a tree who nurtures the next generation of students and helps them reach their goals. I want to learn as much as I possibly can and share it with my community. I know there are many struggles in Santa Ana, but from my experience, everyone has the potential to be a better person every day.