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

Posted: Updated:
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.

News 12 has recently updated to a brand new version of our iOS and Android apps.  If you don't have auto updates enabled on your devices, head to the App Store or Google Play Store to update to the latest version.  This will ensure you keep getting up-to-date local news, traffic and weather information.

sorry to interrupt
your first 5 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 5 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."