Esteban proudly sports his University of Minnesota t-shirt that reads ‘f1rst gen grad.’ Esteban himself, a first generation college graduate.
Esteban was only 3 years old when he arrived in Minnesota. His family packed up and left Cancun, Mexico, in 2000 for a new home, full of new possibilities.
“It is one of the reasons my family came here in the first place - opportunities and better education. Being able to do that and achieve that is a big milestone.”
As a teenager growing up in the suburbs, Esteban did not have Hispanic teachers and rarely teachers of color. This stood out to him, but it also helped inspire him.
“Graduating and even just being in college, shows to my family members and my community members that it is possible. Being a role model for other kids like, ‘hey you can finish high school, you can go to college, you can graduate, and even go to grad school.’ Especially for disenfranchised communities, where just knowing one person that has done it can make all the difference.”
Esteban’s goal is to continue to inspire by connecting with communities and people through his work. Esteban has and continues to connect with the ASI community and neighborhood, initially as a Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) intern with the Inclusion and Community Engagement (INCE) fellowship. Esteban is currently in his first year of his Masters in Heritage Studies and Public History while continuing to intern and work at MNHS and ASI.
Who knows where Esteban’s next adventure will take him; what we do know is he is already an inspiration to many.