My name is Tony Gonzalez, I am a senior at Athens State majoring in English Language Arts with a minor in Secondary Education. Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the many contributions that Hispanic Americans offer to the United States. For me, this is a time to express my culture, life, and roots in a way that represents others as well as myself. Coming from a traditionally Latino and immigrant background I understand the immense need and want to “fit in.” I decided to go into education because of this reason. Thanks to the Men of Kennis program, I found a way to make my dream come true. In north Alabama, the fastest growing minority group is Latino. However, our north Alabama school teachers do not reflect that. I want to be that Latino representation for my students. I want students to see firsthand that if someone who looks like them, speaks the same language as them, and comes from the same cultural background as them can make it, they can too. This is what Hispanic Heritage Month is about, empowering and educating the next generation of young Hispanic Americans. It is also a time to showcase to the world the amazing things that my community has to offer. I do not celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month for the time allotted, I celebrate it every day. I am proud of my roots, culture, and language. ¡Si se puede!