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  • Writer's pictureLa Voz Latina

Irving Bravo

Escrito por: Dulce Ortiz 馃嚞馃嚬

Headshot of Irving Bravo. (Diana Rivera)

Irving Bravo, a proud, Latino architecture student, is determined to make a change in his family and the world.聽

Raised in a Mexican household in Prince George鈥檚 County, Irving creci贸 so帽ando de ir a la Universidad de Maryland, influenced by field trips, educational programs, and family mentors.聽

He鈥檚 the youngest of three siblings and the first of them to go to college. Decidi贸聽 estudiar arquitectura por el conocimiento del trabajo en construcci贸n de su pap谩 y los sue帽os que sus pap谩s ten铆an para 茅l.

鈥淏eing able to say [my dad] has a home, sons, cars, property... I was born here, I have rights, I know both languages, and will have a college education. If my dad鈥檚 able to do that, then I鈥檓 able to do much more.鈥

Even before coming to UMD, Irving was aware of the lack of Latino awareness on campus. Over the years, he鈥檚 seen and experienced imposter syndrome, noting how Latinos here suppress their cultures. Eso ten铆a que cambiar.

鈥淗istorically, Latinos want to chase the American dream, right? We鈥檙e known to be very hard workers. We tend to not complain. We tend to put up with things for the means of our family.鈥 This inspired his academic mindset.

His freshman year, completely virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic, negatively impacted his beginnings at UMD. He struggled to find friends and adjust to culture shock after attending a diverse high school. Despite that, Irving shares that he liked his UMD experience, though he wishes he could鈥檝e done more.聽

The highlight of his college experience was passing Architecture Studio, composed of several intense, six hour credit courses. Su trabajo lo inspir贸 a crear una organizaci贸n con sus compa帽eros para los futuros arquitectos latinos. Comenzando en diciembre del 2023, la organizaci贸n promueve el mundo profesional y la presencia Latino en los estudios de arquitectura.聽

One goal of the program is to introduce a how-to on basics required for architecture, like machinery and different systems, through an upperclassmen-led peer-mentor system.

Al final, Irving dice que la meta mas grande seria en graduarse. When the time comes, he hopes to get a job at an architecture firm until qualifying for the architectural exam. Once in a stable job, he wants to help his family through their own challenges.

Irving highlights the honor he feels to hear his parent's pride when they share accomplishments with their friends and coworkers. Tambi茅n se siente orgulloso de estar en su 煤ltimo a帽o, a trav茅s de conocer la dificultad que es graduarse de una universidad, especialmente una igual de prestigiosa como la universidad de Maryland.

鈥淪eeing the way my parents work here [the US] and their experiences of what they went through, I feel like I鈥檝e captured that myself. The work ethic is there, the ambition is there, and the need to want to be better is there too, solely for my parents as well.鈥

Cuando piensa en su mejor influencia, siempre piensa en sus pap谩s. 鈥淭hey鈥檙e my heroes - the people I look up to. They鈥檙e the people I want to be.鈥

Irving reminds everyone to 鈥済ive your mom or dad a hug; tell them you care about them. Even if they can鈥檛 express their love, you can.鈥

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