I grew up in the Sonoran Desert of Tucson, Arizona, and I can trace my roots back to five generations from this place. It is a part of me. I have always felt very rooted to my place and my culture, which is Mexican-American. I had the fortune of listening to my grandparents tell stories of the way that the desert used to be; they lived in a time where people lived off of the land, and most people built their own homes. I think this is where my interest in architecture began. I am fascinated by the way that vernacular architecture happens, and the way that it often representative of culture and place. My real interest in architecture is about this mediation between people, place, and the intangible aspects of both.
I am in my final year of architecture and am excited to be graduating at such a time in history as now. Even though the road in uncertain, I feel that it is one of the best times to be exploring social issues in architecture because there is an atmosphere of change in the air. I would like to dedicate this honor in memory of my grandpas, Pete Jimenez and Jim Orosco and my great grandparents, Trinidad Robles, and James and Theresa Orosco, who are no longer with me, I miss them very much and know that they are very proud.