While I was born and raised in Mexico, I came to the U.S. at the age of 18 and graduated from San Diego State University in 2005. Two weeks after graduation, on June 9th, I raised my right hand and became a U.S. citizen.

I felt a strong desire to serve my new country and give back. So on the following day, June 10th, I enlisted into the U.S. Army. I served 7.5 years as a psychological operations non-commissioned officer in United States Army Special Operations Command, deploying to Ecuador, Colombia and twice to Afghanistan. From the jungles of South America to the mountains of Afghanistan, I felt pride to serve in the company of heroes who kept alive George Orwell’s phrase, “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

I will never forget the values and work ethic instilled into me, nor how fortunate I am to be at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.