Cindy Perez is one of the winners of the 2013 José Luis Rodriguez scholarship.
The feeling I had when I entered the library for the first time in my life is a hard feeling to explain. I imagine it is similar to what one might feel upon first seeing Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon. Instead of thousands of gallons of water or canyons eroded by rivers over millions of years, what had me utterly spellbound were the rows upon rows of books. I wandered through the aisles, reverently stroking their bindings. Each book had its own story to tell, its own little piece of wisdom to pass on. It was the first time in my life that I felt truly transcendent. I indiscriminately devoured any book that came my way. I had Roald Dahl for breakfast, Ray Bradbury for lunch, and Jane Austen for dinner.
Now that I am on the road to college, I don't have to worry about traveling the road alone because I have my books to guide the way. My aspiration is to obtain a degree in English Literature so that I may be able to gain a better understanding of the written words that have had such a massive impact on my life. My hope is to then pass on my knowledge and the importance of literature for generations to come. All of my dreams could not have been shaped if it weren't for that first magical trip to the library as a child.