6 - The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, October 21, 1993
By the time they told both
moms and dads, they had
plan. What to do. How to
pay. Where to live. It was her first
year of school, his second. She was
pregnant and they were getting mar-
ried. Another young couple pre-
pared to join the ranks of students
who are parents on campus.
They anticipated anger, but when
Areli Cavazos told her mom, "All hell
broke loose." She was furious. Areli's
mom, Gloria Cavazos, wanted her
to have the baby, but to send her
home to Brownsville, Texas. She
couldn't understand her daughter's
decision to get married and raise the
"No matter what I do, I cannot
change her mind," Areli said. "She's
from the old country, a different
Gloria and Manuel Cavazos im-
migrated from Mexico before Areli's
birth. Their American dream con-
sisted of a butcher shop, a house, a
$40 car and the desire to give their
children chances they never had.
The odds were against Areli.
Only 656 seniors, out of a class of
1,500 ninth graders, graduated from
her high school. Areli knew she had
succeeded when she was accepted
into the Comprehensive Studies Pro-
gram at the University of Michigan.
Sean Kottke graduated second in
his class from a high school in West
Lafayette, Indiana, where 95 percent
of the students proceeded to col-
lege. However, Sean wasn't sure if
he would be accepted at the Uni-
versity of Michigan or if he could
afford it. After all, his family was
still paying off loans from his
mother's nursing school. He was
accepted and managed to find ways
to pay for his education.
Sean's parents were less then
pleased when he told them about
Areli's pregnancy and their impend-
ing marriage. But they came around
- eventually. Visits to grandma and
grandpa are frequent now, since his
parents live in Michigan.
Despite their different backgrounds,
both Sean and Areli Cavazos-Kottke
assert that their cultural differences are
not a point of conflict, but rather a point
of interest. "We are so close in ideas
and philosophies," said Areli, "that we
really don't have a cultural gap."
Alexis changed Sean and Areli's
lives, but education remained their con-
"From the moment Areli was preg-
nant, I never got less than an A-," Sean
said. "From the moment she was a re-
ality, I really worked for it."
Sean, who graduated last year as a
Film Studies major, is currently study-
ing in Eastern Michigan's Teacher Cer-
After taking 12 months off to care
for Alexis, Areli returned to school. She
is now a junior in American Culture,
with plans to become a lawyer.
If anything, her work ethic and fo-
cus have increased since Alexis' birth.
"If I don't do well, it reflects on my
family," she said.
Sean and Areli share family respon-
sibilities. Between writing papers and
reading to Alexis, they fold clothing and
. . :: a .