By Rene Acosta
San Manuel – In May 1977, Rene Acosta and Margarita Acosta brought their three young children to San Manuel with absolutely nothing but their desire to live the American Dream.
They gave up the little they had in Mexico and traveled to San Manuel looking for work at the Magma Copper Mine. It was a big risk because nothing was guaranteed, but, the opportunity was there. Little did they know that their risk and their values would expand their family to five children who would all grow up and graduate from major universities, become professionals, would have four service members in their family, a doctor, three son-in-laws, two daughter-in-laws and 12 grandchildren.
This story is told by the Acosta’s children. We share our story not to boast, but, to inspire and celebrate our parents, and the American Dream. As a family, we are proud U.S. citizens and, also, very proud of our heritage as Latinos. We hope to touch and inspire those chasing a dream, those battling adversity; validate and share our values , and, inspire immigrants in hope of a better life.
Rene and Margarita Acosta were married at 17 and 15 years old, respectively. They had a very challenging and poor upbringing in Sonora, Mexico with Rene forced to work at the age of six to support his large family. Together, they have experienced several trials in their life, including tough jobs in the farm fields, the loss of their first child, financial troubles, marital woes, teenage pregnancy, language and cultural barriers They have always overcome those trials with very simple, concrete values and principles.
Those basic values include the love instilled in their family, happiness, faith in God through Jesus Christ, hard work, pride, education and taking advantage of the opportunities offered by this great country. Rene and Margarita came to the U.S. with many dreams. One of those dreams was that their children would have a better life than them and that they would all become professionals.
On May 17, their dream was finally realized with the graduation of their youngest daughter Joanna as a Biomedical Engineer from the University of Arizona. Joanna will be married to Rulon Austin and begin her engineering career at ASARCO this summer. Joanna will join her four older siblings as professionals all with University degrees.
The Acosta’s oldest child, Veronica Santiago, is married to Joe Santiago. Both are Army veterans and have two boys, with their oldest in college. Veronica has a Bachelors degree in accounting from the University of Arizona. She is currently an accountant at Krebs engineering. Rene and Margarita’s oldest son, Jose Acosta has two young boys of his own and two children with his love, Liseth Torres. Jose holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering from Arizona State University and is an engineer at the Intel Corporation.
The Acosta’s daughter, Rosa Graves is married to Andy Graves, Army veteran. Together they have four children, with the oldest in college. Rosa holds a Bachelors degree in Journalism from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is currently a Human Resources director at Arizona Nutritional Supplements (ANS).
The Acosta’s son, Rene Acosta, USMC veteran, is married to Dr. Stefanie Acosta and they have two young children. Rene holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona and a Master’s of Engineering degree from Arizona State University and is a Systems Engineer at Raytheon Missile Systems.
In closing, we would like to thank those that came before us, who gave us opportunity and made this country great, and, made our dreams possible. We thank God and the Lord Jesus Christ for our many blessings as well as our oldest brother and angel in the sky, Luis Rene, for looking over us. Thank you to all of the people and teachers from San Manuel and the Tri-Community who helped shape our lives. We thank our parents, for unconditional love, their values instilled in us and their persistence. Finally, we congratulate Rene and Margarita Acosta on realizing their dreams.
In order to help others achieve their dreams and commemorate our parent’s dream, we would like to partner with San Manuel High School and offer an annual scholarship starting with the class of 2015.