The process of writing this book would have been a laborious and unrewarding task without the contributions that I have received from friends and coworkers Antonio Díaz-Royo, Wilhelmina Perry, Lillian Jiménez, and Anne Gardon. They were instrumental in initially assisting me in organizing my thoughts and the book as it evolved. Their guidance and reflections helped me through the frightening and exciting adventure of traveling inward to discover the self while still telling the story of my actions in the world. They along with Sonia Nieto, Mary Francis Berry, and Mary Marshall Clark read the first version of this book. Their reactions and wise criticism helped me realize that my memoirs are an important contribution to a critical look at the Puerto Rican community of New York.
Throughout the writing process, I was assisted by many others who helped me with research, some provided documents from their personal files while others participated in interviews offering memories, analysis, and perspectives of the work we did together. These included the original group members of the Hispanic Young Adult Association (HYAA) and the Puerto Rican Association for Community Affairs (PRACA), the first Madrinas of ASPIRA, the first ASPIRA students and club presidents, founding staff and board members of the Puerto Rican Forum and ASPIRA, and the first staff and selected board members of Universidad Boricua.
Lillian Jiménez is deserving of my gratitude and appreciation for coordinating and producing tapings with her coworkers Linda Silva and Juan Rodríguez.
My warmest thanks to my friend Antonio Díaz-Royo who pro-