Following up on my July/August series on news articles about the Class of 2010, here’s one more…
When Elizabeth Lozada was in middle school in El Paso, she remembered hearing about the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, and announced she wanted to go there.
Only she didn't - she couldn't.
Her family, which had immigrated from Mexico, didn't have the money. After she finished high school, Lozada had to work, and later, she started a family.
Today, she will see her dream come true through her first-born son, Isaac Lozada. The 18-year-old will board a plane at San Angelo Regional Airport/Mathis Field this morning and land later in the day in Cambridge, Mass. - the home of MIT, the No. 1-ranked university in the nation, according to a Washington Post study.
The May graduate of Central High School was accepted into Harvard, Yale and Stanford, but he chose MIT because of its specialization in the math, science and engineering fields. He's not sure what he wants to do yet, but it's something along those lines, he says.
After he was accepted to MIT in December, his mother told him it was the very school she once longed to attend.
''It's his dream and my dream together,'' Elizabeth Lozada said. ''I just remember thinking it would be the premier school to go to.''
Her enthusiasm, however, doesn't mask her trepidation about the inevitable goodbye.
''This whole week, I've tried not to think about it,'' the Lake View High School secretary said. ''I told my co-workers not to even mention it. If I think about it, I start crying.''
Isaac, too, knows boarding the plane without his family - mother; father Wilfredo; and brothers, Noah, 15, and Matthew, 13 - will be tough.
''It's scary,'' he said. ''But it's also liberating.''
Since he was a baby, Isaac bounced from home to home in the United States and Europe, as his father's Army orders called. His father is retired from the Army and working as a civilian at Goodfellow Air Force Base.
Isaac was taught in Germany at Department of Defense English schools.
''It's really fun moving, actually,'' he said. ''Now, I'm finally going where I want to be going.''
He'll live in a dorm and share a room with a student from Chicago. All Isaac knows is his name.
''It'll be a huge culture shock,'' Isaac said.
So far, Isaac said he hasn't had to seek any student loans. He received scholarships from the school, and his parents are cashing in savings bonds they started for Isaac when he was born.
''We know we have the first two years,'' his mother said. ''We will eventually have to cover the third and fourth years. My husband tells Isaac, 'Even if I have to eat beans for the whole year, you'll go to MIT.' ''
Neither Wilfredo nor Elizabeth Lozada has a college degree. Elizabeth Lozada said her family's pride for Isaac outweighs how much they'll miss having him around.
''I've tried to prepare myself all his life for him leaving,'' she said. ''We'll just miss him. We'll miss his presence at home. It'll just be different without him.''
Isaac said it'll be Thanksgiving before he'll be able to come back home.
He already has his return ticket. His mother made sure of it.