Edward Mata thinks a lot about the sacrifices his mother made to ensure he would benefit from being a U.S. citizen. She traveled from the Dominican Republic in 1982 to give birth to him in the Bronx, New York. She and his father returned to the United States in 1989, settling in Miami, and she worked to keep her children in America after Mata’s father returned to the Caribbean island nation.
Mata also worked hard. He helped support this family throughout middle and high school. To finance college, he joined the Navy, serving on a nuclear submarine. He earned his bachelor’s degree online while working as a data-center engineer in Silicon Valley.
Now that he’s studying at UC Hastings, immersed in classes with “really talented faculty and students,” he is determined to help Latino immigrants and people in the Dominican Republic.
With business law, he hopes one day to represent minority-owned U.S. companies looking to invest in developing countries like the Dominican Republic. He believes business can be a “powerful engine” for bringing about social change.
“I was blessed and lucky to be my mother’s son,” Mata says. “She had the foresight to make sure I was born here. Now, I’m in a great position. I’m 30, and I’m going to be a lawyer in a couple of years. I feel I have this sense of duty because I was able to make it out. And it wasn’t just my doing but because of my mom.”
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