But there's an organization in town, Con Mi Madre, meaning ‘with my mother’ who is on a mission to make sure their daughters can go to college and graduate.
Ixel loves bacon, Sylvia Puente says, and that's what she's cooking with her youngest daughter this Saturday morning. They're spending as much time together as possible before graduation 2022.
"Me pongo emocional de saber que se van a ir"
I get emotional knowing she's leaving, Sylvia says.
Even though she's had four siblings before her lead the way, this mother still reflects on the journey.
"Yo llegué aquí en estados unidos y como todo inmigrante buscando una mejor vida." She says she came to the U.S. as an immigrant looking for a better life.
"Yo tenía de qué que mis hijos quería que estudiaron pero a veces no tenemos los recursos quien los guíe." She says she always dreamed her kids would go to college but didn't have guidance, until they found the organization Con Mi Madre.
"Con el programa con mi madre nos han guiado y nos han llevado las universidades"
The organization plans university visits, college fairs, scholarship workshops, and anything to help support mother-daughter teams through college graduation.
"I was like 11, 12-years-old maybe even younger, and she was telling me we have to do these things," Ixel explains. "And I was like I'm in middle school I don't even have to worry about this stuff yet."
But the early start paid off. "They gave me the confidence to feel like ok, I can go to college, I could do these things I know how to go the application process I know what questions to ask I know who to talk to."
The first-generation college student reflected on her immigrant parents' sacrifices. "I felt very honored to be a first-generation college student because I know I'm breaking that generational, I guess, barrier"
And now this young woman, the daughter of a gardener and a housekeeper, is headed to St. Edwards University this fall on a dean's scholarship, thanks to an organization that hasn't forgotten the power of learning con mi madre… with my mother.
"I actually love that we're doing this because I get to sit in front of her and actually take the time to tell her that I'm very thankful. I love you too, I'm very thankful for everything she's done for me."
Ninety-five percent of young women who've gone through the Con Mi Madre program have graduated college. It's open to any and all female-identifying women starting in 6th grade through 12th grade.
If you'd like to learn more about the program or want to help support these families in their college journey, visit conmimadre.org and click on the donate link. You can make one-time or recurring donations.