Far From Home

July 21, 2022

Left: group selfie; Right: Malyna in infront of White House

Written by: Malyna Trujillo, Caminos al Futuro 2022

I never thought I would have the courage to step out of the comfort of my “Bay Area bubble” alone, yet here I am, 2,843.7 miles away from home. This is my first time away from California alone - away from my family, friends, and home. In the days leading up to my flight to D.C., I was so nervous to be surrounded by a new environment, new people, and new experiences. However, there was also a sense of excitement with the unknown. At the time, it seemed unbelievable that the next three weeks would be spent on the other side of the country, but today, I am so thankful and happy for this opportunity to be gaining independence in my favorite city.

I have spent the last three weeks laughing with new friends, walking around the city (including making “casual” stops at the White House), learning about my Latino community, and gaining the skills I need to apply the lessons I’ve learned to my own neighborhood in California.

I am so appreciative of the lifelong friendships I’ve made over the past few weeks. I’ve met the most supportive people and developed such a love for their kindness and drive. Meeting people who share my interests has pushed me to be my best and learn from their experiences. From late night chisme talks, to walking miles to find the nearest chicken nuggets, to singing Selena karaoke, I have had the best time with people I love and care about.

This experience has only solidified my dream of living and learning in Washington D.C. where I can study political science to bring back change for those who are marginalized. Although I am sad to leave my new familia here and return to California, I am so excited for a bright future ahead. I am so grateful to have been chosen for this program and the memories I’ve made will stay with me forever.

Malyna Trujillo is a Caminos al Futuro 2022 scholar. Malyna’s views are her own and not necessarily reflective of the Cisneros Institute.