Growing up I had no intention for change, I was always comfortable.

I mean I had all of the necessities needed to live, why change?

That was the problem, I was afraid of change.

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[FASA’s First General Meeting, Spoken Word, 2016]

Inevitably it happened, my dad cheated on my mom and my world turned upside down. We had to sell our house that we had for 12 years, budget our savings so we can have food on the table, and our relationship as a family shifted downhill.

My brother barely came home, my sister shut herself in her room, and lastly my mom would cry herself to sleep every night. I was only 12 years old when this happened and I didn’t know what to do but to hate. I started skipping school and soon I saw my grades starting to decline.

To be transparent, I felt like I had nothing to contribute to this world, so why change that mindset?

There it is, “change” again.

I started to learn how to not fear change, but be the change I want to see today. I believe I can change my destiny, my dreams, and make them a reality.

For the next couple months I started to see changes.

My brother decided to stay home and apologized to our family, saying that he just wanted to run away from his problems and to distract himself. As for my sister, she began gaining her confidence again and started to converse with the family. Lastly, my mom realized how important we are to her and was able to adapt to our financial crisis. Overall, I was happy to see where we had started and the amount of adversaries that we pushed through.

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[My family and I!]

This is why Alpas is so important to me. It reminds me of obstacles that I faced throughout my life and how I was able to get passed through them. It reminds me of my purpose to keep on fighting until this day, which is that I want to break free from grudges that I had set on my father, but to break loose and understand that I have a purpose on this earth.

Alpas means: To become free, to break loose. And I am a testimony of that.

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