Upon meeting Erick Salazar, one is immediately taken with his engaging smile.  Erick is a story for all America in 2018.  At the age of 8 months, Erick moved from Los Angeles back to Mexico with his parents.  There he grew up in a loving, but poor community “…where even the worst schools in the United States are not as bad as Mexico…” and “… Parents are so poor they send their kids to work instead of school.”  His parents define selfless love, for when it was time to go to junior high school his mother allowed Erick to return to Los Angeles on his own so that he could pursue a quality education and have a chance to attend college. He did not waste this gift but rather excelled academically and became a leader as captain of his high school soccer team.  He lived with his uncle, only seeing his mom and siblings during Christmas break and sometimes in the summer when he could save enough money to make the trip back to Mexico.  Erick now attends California State University Fullerton as a L.I.F.T. Scholar, planning to be a psychologist one day.  He truly understands the powerful gift of education and the sacrifices others have made to make his dreams a reality.  But Erick has also sacrificed in pursuit of the American dream, an education no one can ever take away from him, and with an education he can help his younger sister, little brother, mother, father and the communities that make him proud to be both Mexican and an American.  It is an honor to be a part of Erick’s journey.