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It was my father who taught us that an immigrant must work twice as hard as anybody else, that he must never give up.

—ZINEDINE ZIDANE

“WHAT WAS THAT all about?” Kayla asks when Mrs. Garcia leaves. She raises her eyebrows and waits expectantly.

I can’t hide my elation, but I want to tell my parents first. The news is too precious, too hard-earned to share with even my best friend right now. It’s not that she won’t be happy for me; she’ll be ecstatic. But Mom and Dad deserve to be the first ones to hear.

“Just some good news about college apps,” I tell her. “She thinks I’m eligible for a Regent’s at the UC schools.” The Regent’s Scholarships are California’s answer to the National Scholarship Program. They cover thousands of dollars of tuition a year for the top percentage of applicants, and I’d known I’ve been eligible for a while as UC applications are due at the end of November.

“Well, duh, I could have told you that,” she says, as I pull the scholarship letter out of my sports bra and slip it into the front pocket of my backpack.

Something in Between