Luz Sanchez has been through a lot. She was mugged for her school books. She also saw her mother become a victim of domestic abuse. She was also forced to move to the United States in search for a better life for her and her son. But these obstacles have not stopped Sanchez.
The cinema and television arts major took on modeling jobs to pay for bills and expenses. While taking care of her son she is continuing her education.
Now in her 30s, she will be graduating from CSUN, making her biggest dream a reality.
“Even if it takes all of my life, I will accomplish something,” Sanchez said.
She grew up in poverty in Mexico. Although she had a full-ride scholarship to a private university in Mexico City, Sanchez felt like she wasn’t fulfilling her dream. She decided to seek further information about one of her passions, the film industry.
“One of the fondest memories was watching Mexican movies from the golden age with my mother,” she said.
She said she considers her mother an inspiration and admires her for her perseverance. Growing up in a home filled with both physical and verbal abuse she has made it her goal to avoid hostile environments. Because of her domestic life, she vowed to infuse her passion of film and her advocacy against abuse into a documentary about people, specifically families, who are oppressed.
“Women shouldn’t tolerate domestic violence towards them or their children,” she said.
The tough economic situation also forced Sanchez and her son to move from Mexico to the United States about a decade ago. She had to make a fresh start, with her sister as her only resource in California.
She decided to pursue an education and began learning English through audio tapes and books. Even though she worked at an electronics factory for minimum wage and went to school at night, she was still determined.
“Everything encouraged me to improve my situation,” she said. “I had an inner will that made me do something powerful.”
She admits that working long hours and studying at the same time, left scarce time to devote to her son. However, she said he was her motivation to progress beyond what was tangible.
Sanchez eventually set her sights on a college degree, determined to make it into a university.
While attending Los Angeles City College, she was offered a modeling job for infomercials while on shift at her job as a waitress. She accepted. Sanchez was able to pay for college through her modeling gigs and other side jobs.
Now after a decade of education and work, she is happily married with two children, and expecting to graduate in Fall 2011.
Her dream remains to showcase stories of the afflicted, stories like hers, and break stereotypes of the Latino community.
The next big step in her life is to produce a documentary about her life, the struggles and achievements. The film is already in the works and is projected to begin working on it after graduation.
“I want to do it for them (women),” she said. “I want to set an example.”