When Harry arrived at Vanderbilt University in 2008, he became the first person in his family to attend college. His parents were immigrants from Nicaragua, and he had attended a so-called “academically and economically disadvantaged” high school on the North side of Miami. Even after completing a rigorous IB program as a high-school student and receiving a scholarship, he arrived on campus feeling like an outsider.
“Never before had I truly felt such an extreme sense of estrangement and alienation,” he says of his first few months. “I quickly realized that although I may look the part, my cultural and socio-economic backgrounds were vastly different from those of my predominantly white, affluent peers. I wanted to leave.”