THE LEIVAS: Pursuing their diverse interests: arts, sciences

LeivasDONEAlisson Leiva is a junior. Jefferson Leiva is a freshman. She likes to draw, while he likes to tinker with computers.

Siblings born in Nicaragua, they spent the early years of their childhood in their home country.

When she was just 8 and he 7 years old, they flew in a plane with their mother to the United States.

Upon being enrolled in school, they became the first of their family to obtain an education in this country.

Their parents are educated people, having worked their way through high school and college in a different country.

Their mother obtained a degree in business administration and took up an internship at the national airport in Nicaragua and their father earned his degree in computer engineering and became an airplane mechanic.

Even though their parents were educated in Nicaragua, the jobs they had paid the same amount that low wage jobs in America pay. They wanted their children to have a chance at choosing a career they loved with a reasonable payroll.

Alisson says she hopes to become the first person in her family to go to college in the U.S. and looks forward to pursuing a career in the arts. Her artistic abilities really skyrocketed when she came here.

“There was no art class, there were no art lessons in Nicaragua,” she said. Her mother supports her decision to start taking on a career in the arts. “Art makes me happy. I’m forced to go to college, but it’s for something I like, and to me that’s fun.”

Jefferson finds himself heading in a different direction. With his interests centered around computers, he wants to continue into CalTech to earn a degree in computer forensics, which has to deal with collecting, analyzing, and reporting digital information.

He’s even interested in pursuing a career with an intelligence agency. “It’s spooky,” Jefferson said, “but it’s exciting.”

The fact that no one else in his family has a similar occupation motivates him to continue his education in it.

Each sibling wants to hold a job that is different from what their parents’ jobs were. However, the type of work they could do as adults in Nicaragua is limited because the colleges there offer only so many classes to study in.

Though Alisson and Jefferson share the same backstory, each is in the process of carving their own pathway as to what they want to do with their futures.