Contributed to the Filipino Reporter

Growing up in a third world country, I have learned the value of resilience and hard work in the achievement of one’s goals.

When I migrated to the United States towards the end of my teenage years, I had to adapt and acculturate myself to persist.

I was challenged to figure out my educational path without any support from my parents, who are not familiar with the American college system.

I also had to work three different jobs while finishing my undergraduate studies at UCLA to pay for my meals and rent.

I knew early on that I would want to go for my Ph.D. and that no matter how tired I was from work, extracurricular involvements, and classes; it was imperative that I do well in my courses.

As you may have inferred by now, goals and my way to achieving them have always been relevant to how I live my life and how I make decisions.

Now that I will be voting for America’s presidential election for the very first time, the only candidate I can resonate with is Hillary Rodham Clinton: because of her resiliency, pragmatic leadership, and result-driven work ethic.

I always focused on getting the job done, and that is what Hillary offers.

Hillary has spent her entire “adult life” advocating for women’s rights and everyone’s healthcare.

People have given her a rough time for switching her views on LGBTQ rights, yet people fail to realize that the important takeaway from this is that she changed her views for the better rather than not changing at all.

Hillary has also been under a lot of scrutiny and criticisms — from conspiracy theories, Whitewater, Walmart up until Benghazi; however, here is a woman who is still fighting to serve her country.

Hillary has concrete plans on how she would make education affordable and help those who are under student debt like me.

Hillary sees the big picture, yet she also takes into account the details of particular situations.

One of my favorite Hillary quotes from a rally says “School bus drivers and cafeteria staffers should also get a raise since they are the ones assisting in the development and education of our children today.”

I cannot think of another presidential candidate this election who has an idea of how the struggles that real people living their everyday lives have.

Secretary Clinton also supports immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship because she believes in the beauty of diversity and the idea that everyone should have a chance in life, no matter which zip code you came from.

She also believes in the threat of climate change (and does not have to deny ever tweeting that climate change is a hoax created by China).

She has a solid plan that will work towards clean and environment-friendly energy, which I think is very timely with what we need and should be doing today.

With more than 33,000 Americans killed by guns each year which equates to about a hundred citizens a day, Hillary’s call for comprehensive background checks is truly needed.

I believe that holding gun dealers and manufacturers accountable is entirely different from violating the second amendment.

After all, guns have taken out a lot of American’s right to live.

Ultimately, Hillary has proven through her track record that she gets things done.

If I would elect someone in the oval office, I would most definitely choose the person who is not just “all bark, no substance.”

I am not voting for “the lesser of two evils” as some of my fellow millennials would say because I have always liked the realness and feasibility that Hillary has in her platforms.

I have stood with Hillary from the beginning.

I am encouraging my fellow millennials to think about their perception of Hillary and try to remember where these ideas came from.

If you heard it from a friend, it would not hurt to Google unbiased publications and read both sides of the story.

For those of you who have criticisms of Hillary for the way she is, ask yourself if you would have said the same thing if Hillary were a man.

I encourage my fellow millennials to think about the information we know and the validity of it.

It is a wonderful feeling to say that the first time I get to vote, I would be voting for the first woman president of the United States.

***

Peter Torres is an immigrant from the Philippines.

He is currently a Ph.D. student at UC Davis and will be voting for the U.S. presidential election for the first time as a naturalized American citizen.

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