A journey from Mexico to a life in Lincoln, Neb.

In the halls of a middle school in the sprawling city of Monterrey, Mexico, a young Pablo Cervantes pauses at an open doorway.

He sees a teacher, the teacher sees him.

Would you like to dance?

The seventh-grader looks at his friends, a group of boys heading outside for a game of soccer after school. He scans the dance class beyond the open door and considers the teacher’s offer.

“I look at my friends. Boy. Boy. Boy. I look at the dancers. Girl. Girl. Girl,” Cervantes recalled. “I say sure, yes, I want to dance.”