Edison High student tell incredible story of 1,600 mile trek to America

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An Edison High School student is set to graduate this year on his way to achieving his American dream.

Oscar Rivera made an incredible journey from Central America to the Central Valley for a better chance at life.

Rivera walks the campus of Edison High School like a normal student, but getting from class to class is nothing compared to the more than two months of walking he did to get to the United States.

"In the beginning, I walked with people from Honduras to El Salvador," he explained. "But after El Salvador, I walked by myself."

Oscar was 13 years old when he decided to walk from his home country of Honduras to McAllen, Texas. At the time, two years had passed since his father was murdered and his mother disappeared.

Oscar wanted to help his five sisters, so he took the more than 1,600-mile trek by foot. And all he had with him was a backpack, a blanket, food and a knife for protection. He slept by himself outside of stores he'd purchased food from.

"You heard a lot of animals so you don't know what animals they are but it was difficult," he said.

The only memento he has from back home is some money from Honduras. It's only equivalent to about $5, but he's kept it with him this whole time.

After spending 29 days in a refugee camp in Texas he flew to Mendota to live with his uncles.

He worked in the fields for nine months before he was told by immigration to enroll in school or face deportation.

He decided to enter into Fresno County's foster care system and landed at Edison High School. Not knowing any English at all, he faced an uphill battle to graduate on time.

Through hard work and determination, Oscar now has a 3.5 GPA after completing the graduation requirements in just two years. His foster mom says she's so proud of him.

"He's a good kid, you know," his foster mom Maria Bustamante said. "He's very respectful and very kind to everybody very friendly and he just wants to learn."

"I don't know, I just do my homework do all the assignments my teacher tell me and also I have a nice school too," Oscar explained.

Now, Oscar is in the process of enrolling in Fresno City College. His goals include becoming a US citizen and to become a highway patrol officer.

"Because I like what they do," he said. "They help people."

"The story of the journey and, I can just tell you, his journey is definitely not done yet," Edison High School counselor Arthur Sulcer said. "Not at all."

It's a journey for a better life while fulfilling the American dream.
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