I grew up in Alamogordo, New Mexico, a 90-minute drive from El Paso. As a 9 year old child, I began learning Spanish from Señora Ramirez, my tutor for five years. Señora Ramirez was Mexican American. At the time, I struggled with the notion that after school I had to go right back to class to study Spanish while my brother was at soccer, tennis or hockey practice. Completely unaware of how invaluable the ability to read, write and speak Spanish would be to me, I continued to take Spanish lessons to please my mom.