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Diego Moreno Espinoza: Life Through a Lens

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As he prepares for a new chapter in his life, Diego Moreno Espinoza reflects on how his past experiences have led him to where he is today.

“Life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re gonna get.” We’re all familiar with Forrest Gump’s quote. Life is a truly unique experience, determined by millions of tiny little factors. Every specific occurrence in our lives–good and bad–helps us develop into the people that we are today.

As the son of Mexican immigrant parents alongside two brothers, I am no stranger to struggle. Growing up in Richmond, we often moved between jobs, homes, and schools. However, this constant moving presented me the opportunity to advance a grade level and forever changed the pace by which I lived my life. It opened the door to many other opportunities that I cannot say for certain I would have received at a different time.

My time at Middle College High School, where I was concurrently enrolled in both college and high school classes, was marked by equal levels of great intellectual growth and struggle. My family’s financial insecurities continued, reaching a climax in my junior year when my father became unable to work–the result of decades of manual labor.

My older brother and I obtained jobs to support our family, all the while I juggled my life as a student. Going through these struggles, however, has sent me on a journey of self-reflection and ignited within me a love of life like no other. Through life’s uncertainty, I have come to learn that good and bad exist alongside and within one another and that things happen at the time they do for a reason.


Through my struggles, I have been given access to life-altering opportunities that I otherwise would not have received. I choose to see the good in the bad and be grateful for what I have.

I’ll be attending the University of California, Berkeley this fall to major in Mechanical Engineering. I hope all my experiences will continue to guide me to improve the infrastructure which the world revolves around each day.

We can always try to look on the bright side, analyzing our past and present experiences and remembering to keep in mind that no matter how dark the tunnel is, there is always a light at the end.

With a Perspective, I am Diego Moreno Espinoza.

Diego Moreno Espinoza is a graduate of Middle College High School and an incoming UC Berkeley student. His piece was produced as part of KQED Youth Takeover.

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