I expect nothing, other than what I work for
entitled abel perez
Name: Abel Perez, 29
Location: Sacramento, Calif.

I fought hard to work hard.

I came from an immigrant Mexican family, which taught me a strong work ethic. My dad worked three jobs at a time to keep the family fed.

I remember this one time, he came home from a construction job. He had cement all over his pants, his hands were all cut up and he said: "I want you to know what a working man's hands look like. I don't want this for you."

I've always taken that to heart.

When I was in my teens, my parents left the state in search of work. I dropped out of school at 17, got two jobs and took care of my three siblings for two years.

I started taking night classes and got my high school diploma when I was 21.

I worked in a warehouse for 10 years, and now, I'm working at a nonprofit art center, helping adults with disabilities.

I've also been taking two to three night classes the entire time, and I'm slowly putting myself through college, working toward a bachelors in psychology. My hope is to eventually earn a Ph.D. in neuropsychology.

I have never asked for anything more than what I've worked to get.


- Last updated May 17 2013 09:46 AM ET
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