My name is Rosario Torres. I grew up in a disadvantaged low-income household. My parents were not given a chance at education to be socially mobile. My father has been a day laborer for over twenty-five years and my mother worked cleaning homes for about fifteen years. They worked hard to provide for my sisters and me. I married young and was married for seven years, and suffered domestic violence. Since leaving this abusive relationship, I decided to go back to get my High School Diploma, and subsequently continued my education at community college. However, it was a trying time as I am a single parent, and have two children. In order to attend full-time, I worked while going to school to pay for books and childcare related expenses.
Today, I am a UC Berkeley student, and as I stated earlier, I am a single parent to a ten-year-old son and a five-year- old daughter. Therefore, overcoming these and various other obstacles has made me even more proud of my accomplishments, because balancing school, while being a parent hasn’t been easy. That is why, I have been very active in my community to help people realize their educational goals, namely, through my internship at the Undocumented Student Program, my former internship at the Student Parent Center at UC Berkeley, as well as my community outreach to high school students at Oakland International High School through the Dreamers Project. These opportunities have allowed me to set an example for young women and undocumented students, who like me, may not have had a mentor to guide them and encourage them to explore and begin to dream of a career.
Academically, I intend to get my Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and eventually obtain my masters and Doctorate degree as well. I chose this major because becoming an Anthropologist would equip me with strategies that would enable me to use the knowledge garnered to solve tangible human problems. Therefore, as a Anthropology major, I have taken four Archeology courses at UC Berkeley, and through the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship program (URAP), I have been working in the archaeology lab at UC Berkeley under the direction of Professor Kent Lightfoot. More recently, I have also been working in the McCown Lab also known as the Archaeobotany lab overseen by Professor Christine Hastorf.
Moreover, I recently applied and was accepted into UC Berkeleys Haas Scholars Program. This fellowship fully funded my summer undergraduate research at Wilder Ranch State Park in California, and will allow me to publish the culmination of my undergraduate research as a senior honors thesis. I believe the latter will better prepare me to apply to graduate programs after obtaining my Bachelors in Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Ultimately, my longer term goal is to contribute to the level of knowledge that help researchers and descendant communities discuss findings in terms of contemporary concerns that can influence how state and federal agencies work alongside Native American stewards in implementing better landscape management practices in California.
However, my children are the biggest driving force in my life. As a child being granted permission to be curious, I want to see the world as my children would, through curious eyes, I want to continue to explore our world together. Therefore, I choose to continue on this journey, pursuing my goal of becoming an Anthropologist.
If you would like to know more about my research here is a link to the description on the Haas Scholars website for current scholars. http://hsp.berkeley.edu/haas-fellows/detail/3265