Although I do not come from Ecuador, and West San Antonio was my barrio and not Carmelitos Housing Project, I also lived through the exhilaration of earning a perfect high school academic transcript (San Antonio Vocational and Technical High School, now "Fox High") in June, 1956, and shortly afterward found myself "young, talented and Mexican" at Texas A & M and Rice universities. (The term Hispanics had not yet been "invented.") We had no trouble in calling ourselves poor Mexicans in Texas. Fierce uncomplicatedness or lack of sophistication?
For 2 1/2 years I worked as a staff mathematician at TRW in Houston before coming here to work for Fluor and go to UCLA. Good things can happen.
It was a pleasure to read your article "4.0 Student Breaks Free of Housing Project Stereotypes" (The Times, June 28). I thank you for the article and congratulate the spirit of Viviana Arellano, a courageous and intelligent person.
Unfortunately, many in the larger population believe that such personal adaptation to reality as she perceived it constitutes "elitism" and that she should "stay in her place."
I suggest to Arellano that she should develop personal leadership and teaching potential so as to tactfully and diplomatically make this country truly a kinder and gentler place.