Latino Teen Admitted to Stanford Shuts Down Dentist Who Questioned His Qualifications
What started as a simple trip to the dentist ended with a lesson about casual racism in America.
In a Facebook post, Stanford-bound Guillermo Pomarillo told the story of his 1.5-mile walk to the dentist, who showed surprise when Pomarillo disclosed to him that he didn't want braces because he was going to Stanford University in the fall and wouldn't be able to go to regular dentist appointments in the Chicago office anymore.
"You immediately jumped to ask me what my ACT score was," Pomarillo wrote. "It was weird cause I have never had a professional ask me that. I answered honestly. Your response after that clearly showed what you were thinking. You sarcastically said 'Wow you got (blank) on the ACT?! And you got into Stanford?'"
According to Pomarillo, the dentist then compared his daughter's standardized ACT score of 35 to the similar score that Pomarillo offered.
The dentist then made allusions to the kids from "neighborhoods like these" who are able to get into Harvard while his own daughter had to struggle. The dentist didn't know about Pomarillo's 4.0 GPA.
"You said, 'You know, when kids go to schools around here. (AKA public schools in minority neighborhoods) It's easier for them to get into schools like Stanford. My daughter goes to a school where like 20 kids get perfect ACT scores,'" Pomarillo wrote. "I stayed quiet. He continued, 'You're very lucky. Consider yourself very lucky. Getting into Stanford is like competing on The Voice, you know, when you get the buzzer.' Wait what? So you're telling me that 18 years of rigorous hard work is like going on The Voice."
Princeton, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Washington University also offered Pomarillo admission. He was waitlisted at Tufts, Penn State and Columbia.
"To say that I was admitted into a school simply because of my background is ridiculous," Pomarillo wrote. "Of course your daughter was going to score higher than me."
Pomarillo then talks about the privileged upbringing the dentist could afford to give his daughter versus the upbringing his monolingual, Spanish-speaking, Grammar school-educated parents could give him.
"Yes, I may have grown up in a neighborhood that doesn't have many young kids going to schools like Stanford," he wrote. "But it doesn't mean that people where I come from don't have the potential to succeed at Stanford. We deserve to go to places like Stanford."
Pomarillo ends his Facebook post by debunking the dentist's assertion that "luck" must be behind the admissions process at Stanford.
"Maybe just maybe, the admissions panel saw beyond a score when seeing my profile," Pomarillo wrote. "It doesn't mean that I'm better than your daughter. It means that I have the strength, the determination, the perseverance to succeed in a place like Stanford. And maybe the admissions panel didn't see that in your daughter? Cause trust me, schools like Stanford look at everything, not only scores."
The post has been on Facebook for less than a week, but has already garnered over 5,000 shares and 20,000 likes. People in the comments section love Pomarillo's spirit and his analysis.
Pomarillo is not the only stellar Latino graduate to make waves this past year. In June, Texas high school valedictorian Mayte Lara bragged about her 4.5 GPA and was driven offline by racist trolls who attacked her for being undocumented.
Mic also previously reported on another Texas undocumented student, Larissa Martinez, who revealed her undocumented status while delivering a valedictorian address to her school.