They all believed I should go to college.
I didn’t agree.
My parents and teachers were right. It took me a while to admit it.
It wasn’t until my junior year of high school when I decided to listen to them and work hard in school with the hope that I would achieve my parents’ dream for me—acceptance into a four-year college.
The truth is, I was not very hardworking nor was I a respectful student during the first two years of high school. I thought that most adults didn’t seem to know what was best for me. The more they told me what they thought I should do, the less I wanted to do it.
During my freshman and sophomore year of high school, I didn’t work hard. My grades were low and my attitude was bad. I was rude to the adults in my life. Only now, as I prepare to graduate from high school next month, do I see they were all trying to help me be successful. I was lucky to have them pushing me to do the right thing. I’m glad they kept believing in me despite how difficult I made it.
The summer going into my junior year something clicked. I heard from older kids that junior year was a very important year with a heavy workload. I made a decision to change. I dedicated myself to following my parents’ advice, working hard and setting a goal.
My goal was to be accepted into the University of Rhode Island’s pharmacy program. I knew that if I could accomplish that, I’d be on my way to a future of success, one in which I’d be able to support myself and also give back to my family.
In my native Venezuela, I would not have had the opportunities I have here in America. I think it would be a bit ungrateful of me if I didn’t do everything I could to go to college. If we had stayed in Venezuela, I wouldn’t even have the opportunity to apply to the college of my choice and study whatever I wanted. My parents struggled to give me this opportunity and it would have been wrong for me to waste it.
Although my parents desperately wanted me to attend college, I couldn’t just do it for them. I needed to figure it out on my own.
After spending my junior and senior year working as hard as I could in school and on my basketball teams, I hoped that this new version of myself would be able to achieve the goal of getting into college. I got serious about my studies and treated the people who were always there for me better.
I’m so happy and grateful to report that I was accepted into the pharmacy program at URI. My parents are ecstatic and proud. And I am, too. I know that I will have to work very hard to become a licensed pharmacist but I also know that my future and my family’s future will be so much brighter if I succeed.
I’m determined to do just that.
Visit BecauseTheyCan.com to find out how to close the Belief Gap.