In Their Own Words – KEVIN

April 7th, 2021|

LUCA is proud to launch its #InTheirOwnWords series! Over the next few weeks, we will share personal statement essays written by the Latino U Scholars Class of 2021 so that our Scholars can introduce themselves – and share their experiences during these unprecedented times – in their own words. All essays are shared with the permission of each Scholar. The essay below was written by Kevin, a Latino U Scholar from Ossining High School.



“So, are you going to take over your dad’s business when he retires?”

I look up and see my father and his client, both smiling at me. Their conversation about home improvements, painting, and tiling seems to cease, and I am now the center of attention. I put down the drill that I have in my hand and stand up. I adjust my faded red cap and wipe away the sweat from my forehead. I received this question hundreds of times from other clients, I think to myself, yet why does this time seem different? In the past, these words would simply go through one ear and out the other. Now, I am thinking about my possible future: the future of my father’s company under my leadership.

My father immigrated to the United States in his early 20’s with the goal of making a name for himself. Bouncing from job to job, he finally settled in the construction field. In 2015, he decided to become his own boss and formed his own company, Geovanny’s Carpentry & Construction. He took on small jobs at first and worked his way up to bigger ones by expanding his network. However, he also faced struggles. With more business came challenges including, at times, an unreliable, insufficient crew of workers. My dad needed help, and I knew it. I felt guilty, but at 13, I just didn’t feel mentally or physically prepared to step in and help.

Back then, I played video games and took care of my younger brother. I didn’t want to work with my dad because stepping into the adult world scared me. I didn’t feel prepared and was concerned about making mistakes on the job. When, on occasion, I agreed reluctantly to go to work with my dad, I dragged my feet all day, putting in little effort because I found no excitement or challenge in being there. My inconsistent presence on the job meant that I never saw projects through from start to finish; this made the work even more unfulfilling.

Years passed and I felt more like an adult, with greater self-confidence, I wanted to learn carpentry and construction and develop career skills. Finally, on a warm summer morning in June, I walked into the kitchen at 6 a.m. and said, “Dad, I want to go to work with you today.” With a cup of coffee in one hand, he reached around to pat my back with the other, smiling wryly. “Well, change into some work clothes because today vamos a darle duro.” We are going to give it our all.

Our more challenging task that day included building a deck and a playground in a sloped backyard. It put my muscles to the test, and I felt the adrenaline surging within me. I looked over at my father, speaking with the client whose expression indicated how pleased he was with how the project turned out. I now understood the sense of motivation and accomplishment that my father felt when it came to exceeding a client's expectations. I wanted to come back tomorrow, the day after that, and the day after that.

Coming home, my father and I are greeted by my mom, brother, and pet dog. Our work continues at night for my dad and me: managing the company’s website and ads, uploading pictures, and reviewing estimates for accuracy. The business’s performance became a priority—for both of us—and it ate up the free time I would have spent playing video games. But that’s okay with me. It shocked my brother, though. As I headed to bed an hour earlier than usual, my brother called out to me from the living room, “Aren't you playing video games tonight?” “Not tonight,” I said. “I have work at seven in the morning.”

Was waking up at 7 a.m. every day for six weeks worth it? Absolutely. After weeks of continuous work, my father and I are a formidable duo. With my proficiency in English and excellence in technology, the company's prospects are limitless. I think back to the client and his question. I see myself shake his hand and with a grateful sigh I say, “Yes, I certainly do hope so.”