When my brother and I, sat home over a Cuban-cooked meal on “Noche Buena”, we spoke language we felt comfortable speaking—English—a foreign-language to my grandmother. “Por favor hablen en Español para que tu abuela entienda,” were the words that echoed in Yeya’s kitchen. While growing up, this culture was a great influence. I was a small part of both American and Cuban society. This experience helped me understand the world from a culturally diverse perspective. At home—I was Cuban—I had the authentic Cuban-experience the food—rice and beans, the language— Spanish, the music—salsa, traditions—La Caja China, and the strict rules. Spanish was the first language and the only language I spoke. Starting school I learned a new language—English. I always found myself fighting to determine which one I was, but I was both. At home I was Cuban, at school I transitioned, I was American; I spoke, read, and wrote in English. A culture quite more liberating for a teenager, I celebrated American holidays, and everything they meant—the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Martin Luther King’s Birth Day. Reality, I could never be one without the other. I would always be Cuban in Tennessee, because I am a brunette with a Miami accent, while I will always be a “Ginga” in Cuba because of my style, language, and way of life. It was clear, I could not be one without the other—I was Cuban-American. Cuban-American—the essence of being Hispanic and born American. When my family first arrived to America, they could not speak English, they had no money, and nowhere to go, but they had one thing—it was their dreams. They arrived carrying their aspirations of a better life for their children and grandchildren and their desires to succeed. As the first in my family to attend college I knew I would follow in their footsteps.