By Mariel Ponce
It’s not every day that a Pueblo High School student is celebrated in a play/film, but that’s exactly what Bill does—recounting the accomplishments and tragedies in the young 25-year-old life of Mr. Bill De La Rosa, a Class of 2012 graduate.
After a run as a play in local theaters, Bill has been made into a feature film and will premiere at the Fox Theater on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.
“The whole thing [my life being turned into a movie] is very humbling, and I originally had no idea that my life was being celebrated publicly,” De La Rosa said.
He added that the film touches on his successes and traumas in life before and since graduating from Pueblo almost eight years ago as his class’ valedictorian—including his numerous scholarships totaling more than $500,000. De La Rosa attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and Oxford University in England, earning two master’s degrees in criminal justice and immigration studies.
“I wish I could say I was finished with school, but I’m not,” De La Rosa said. He plans to pursue a law degree “back East” next summer, either at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. or Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
De La Rosa also shared his tragedies in his young life, including the deportation of his mother to Mexico in 2009 when he was a sophomore at Pueblo. Two years later in 2011, his father suffered a stroke, and De La Rosa was able to see his mother on a “temporary humanitarian parole” status. He saw her again in the summer of 2018 when his father suffered a fatal stroke.
“If all goes well, my mother will back in the United States next June ,” De La Rosa said, hoping that immigration lawyers will expedite the process.
For now, De La Rosa said he is staying in Tucson and spending time with his family, including his brother Bobby (a freshman at Pueblo) and his sister Naomi, who is currently a University of Arizona student.
As for the film, Bill, De La Rosa said, “I’m still very humbled that I have inspired a movie about my life.” He paused and added, “I want everybody to know that if I can do it, they can do it.”