First-generation Mexican-American heads to Yale in the fall

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BROOKLYN -

A first-generation Brooklyn student has announced her plan to attend an Ivy League college in the fall.

Every year, Senior Signing Day gives students a chance to celebrate their college plans, including Achievement First Brooklyn High School senior Esthere Reyes, who will be attending Yale.

Reyes describes herself as a proud Mexican-American, but says she didn't always feel that way.

"I really wanted to distance myself from that part of my identity, and it wasn't until I started doing speech and debate that I started to learn to embrace it," says Reyes.

Reyes joined the debate team and won national competitions.

"I will be studying race ethnicity immigration with a double major in political science," she says.

Reyes' father was deported to Mexico when she was 11 years old. She says she see him a few times a year, but her mother, who is also undocumented, has to stay behind.

She credits her family struggles to fueling her passion for starting conversation about race and immigration and sparking a future in politics.

"The best way to affect and make a change is to be involved in our local elections national elections," says Reyes.

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