Expat LifeTravel

Where I Live: Downtown | Rivard Report

By February 1, 2020 No Comments

Where I live makes me feel closer to home. My father is a Swiss and French space engineer and my mother is an American piano teacher. She met him while he was working with NASA in Houston, but I didn’t live in Texas until I was sixteen. I was born in Switzerland and lived in Geneva for five years before my family moved to Paris, where I lived for about 12 years. The opportunity to live in San Antonio presented itself when my mother decided to move back to America after twenty years of living abroad, and gave me the option to join her. I had never lived anywhere outside of Europe and thought this was my passport to the American Dream. We packed our belongings into a suitcase, respecting the fifty pound weight limit for the flight, and hit the ground running.

Upon my arrival I attended Reagan High School; a major culture shock. It was surprising how true the cliches were about high school. From cliques and football teams, to pep rallies and senior proms, it all seemed like a southern remake of High School Musical. But what struck me most during the first few months was how racially segregated my school was. My perspective was European. Governments across the pond pride themselves in promoting mixed-income neighborhoods, equal access to education and adequate funding to do so, as well as acknowledging their history by teaching it thoroughly. This homogeneity was not only at school, Stone Oak on the northside of San Antonio was extremely segregated in all aspects. So when I moved away from the area, I wanted a mixed-income neighborhood with more diverse residents. 

After graduating, I went to San Antonio College, but transferring to UTSA  was not the initial plan. I was supposed to move to Switzerland for law school after two years of community college. By the time I had finished those two years at SAC, I had heard about a politics and law program at UTSA, and started an internship with Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. The insight into local politics that the internship provided me is what helped me find this vocation. By 2018 I could not see myself leaving San Antonio.

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