“Wouldn’t say that I’m a quitter, that’s one thing I know I ain’t “J. Cole raps on track “Farewell” off his 2010 EP “Friday Night Lights” and Edwin Leyva is far from selfish. The oldest of four, Edwin was immediately thrust into being a role model for his younger siblings. This accountant graduate is far from selfish, majoring in accounting to provide stability for his family and retire his mom. An industrious woman who sells fruit, Edwin witnessed firsthand the sacrifices and strength his mother possessed.
Attending CSUN out of high school, Leyva was on the pathway to success, but a family setback, led Leyva down a path, to numb the isolation. To the point he was disqualified, back home, the biggest challenge was telling his mom, Leyva stating “the disappointment in her eyes was forever embedded in his brain”.
Over the next few years, financial and family obligations continued to arise, with Leyva thinking “Is this it?” Is this really the remainder of my life?” One time in particular, Leyva was working under a home in the middle of a rainstorm, soaking wet, he called his dispatch asking if he could come back another day to finish. It was this moment, a light lit off, Leyva jump back into school.
When Covid-19 arrived, Leyva buckled down, studying, and taking courses that normally wouldn’t be accessible. “Classes were more accessible” therefore allowing him more opportunity and options to finish his two remainder semesters.
While at Los Angeles Community College, Edwin was taking an accounting course, the whole class did poorly, with the professor commenting accounting is not for everyone. Just like J. Cole articulates “Will I go down as a winner, what’s the picture they gon’ paint?” Edwin took this challenge to prove to himself that he can succeed in this field, by following the trail. You cannot give up at your first site of defeat, professing “Looking at numbers you’re able to see a story and as an accountant it’s your role to share that story.”
Transferring to Cal State LA, Edwin, a laser focused student put all his energy and time into his studies. If the professor assigned select pages; he read the full chapter. “I want to be prepared and informed” Leyva professes with a smile. The dedication highlights firsthand the worth ethic instilled in Edwin, at an early age.
With graduation approaching Leyva has applied to the big four accounting firms, with his goal set on becoming partner. Being a partner will afford him the option to purchase a stake in the firm and grant him the opportunity to retire his mother. It will also be motivation for current and future generations in his family that with perseverance anything is possible, to quote Leyva, “you may fail but if you give it 100% your effort will be noted”. So do not give up on yourself.”
Outside of spending time with family, Edwin is learning the value of setting time for himself. As a natural giver it’s tough to put himself first, but Edwin is learning to fill his cup, one drink at a time. He’s an avid runner and a recent karaoke performer, belting, out tunes to Pink + White by Frank Ocean. Edwin has finally understood that he is enough, although at times, he questions if he is, he sets out for a walk or plays with his dog, Captain Spot.