This article was originally written for FirstGenerationStudent.com, now a part of ImFirst.org.
Despite all of the problems I have faced, I still wake up every morning with a fresh attitude and a burning desire to be better and better. At times, I was told that I could no longer continue my education since I came from schools that were considered “ghetto.” I grew up in a neighborhood with huge dropout rates and crime rates and a lot of drug and gang activity. In order to change the reputation of my community and motivate future high school graduates, I knew that I had to change; I had to go the extra mile. I wanted to change my family’s history and finally be successful.
Beginning at Community College
With dreams there always comes a price, and money was the obstacle I had to face to reach my goal. So, with that in mind, I decided to continue my education at Eastfield College, a community college in Texas. Community college was my way of being able to afford some college before going to a university; however, community college still requires a good amount of money. I decided to apply for financial aid and work as a part-time student. When the financial aid department approved my application, I was ready to begin the new journey that we call college.
The first step I had to take was to choose what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Picking a major was tough for me because I felt I was too naive to decide what I wanted to do with my life; however, the more I got to know myself, the more I realized what goal I wanted to pursue.
Discovering My Goal: To Become a High School Counselor
For as long as I can remember, I have cared about people and their problems. It has been in my nature to show compassion toward people who are in need. Growing up, I always needed an ear, somebody to listen, somebody who truly cared about my situation; however, I did not have that. I realized that most people just need somebody willing to listen. That gave me an idea of who I was and what I wanted to do with my life: I knew that I wanted to be a psychology major.
Since my dream job is to be a high school counselor, I looked into which particular path was the best to take because I did not want to waste any time. During my freshmen year, I studied and worked hard to make sure that I would be able to help people who have struggled just as I have. My plan was to transfer to a university after receiving my associate degree in science, but that plan changed when I received scholarships and grants to Texas A&M University-Commerce. Since I came from a low-income family, this was a huge opportunity and one I couldn’t pass up.