Nayelli

No Excuse Not to Succeed

In my life, I’ve already learned that I can’t make excuses regarding lack of success. That’s not going to get me anywhere. I came to the U.S. from Mexico when I was four years old. My parents worked tirelessly in the fields in Washington state. It was a difficult job with no financial stability, so we moved to Garland, Texas. I became very involved in school and graduated fifth in my class from South Garland High School. My plan was to attend UNT Denton, but as a “dreamer,” the financial aid available was not enough to cover everything.

Instead of giving up, I decided to attend Richland College. When it was time to transfer, I chose UNT Dallas because of its location and its association with the Denton campus.

At orientation, I was lost and didn’t know anybody. After my first semester, however, I realized how much I love this campus. It’s friendly and inviting, the class size is small, and everyone seems willing to help, even the professors.

After I graduate, I want to work with children with special needs. It’s where I volunteer most of my time. It’s my passion. I want to be a high school special education teacher and eventually obtain my master’s degree so I can be the department head of special education for a district or serve as a counselor.

I started working with children with special needs when I was in the fifth grade when our teacher picked four or five of us to help out. In eighth grade, I moved into a classroom as a helping aid for them. That same year, I attended the Special Olympics in Garland for the first time. I loved it, and realized this was something I wanted to do. Now I’m working at my old high school with nine students in a special education class.

I also want to work with students who are in the middle. Low-performing students always get help. Kids in the talented and gifted program usually have AP courses and competitions. The kids in the middle seem to get left behind. They slip through the cracks. While working at Sam Houston Middle School, I saw this happening, so I started the Junior Hispanic Youth Organization. One day, we took the students to court where they dressed professionally. Everybody complimented them, and it made the kids feel good about themselves. I saw these students grow from being shy to outgoing and responsible students.  It inspired me to do more, and to teach students that they can’t make excuses.

You can’t give up by using the excuse that you can’t speak the language. You can’t say you’re not smart enough. If you don’t study, you can’t use the excuse that a university degree is impossible. There’s always a way.  If you can’t afford a four-year college, there’s always community college. You can’t say you don’t have money to go; I worked and went to school. There’s never an excuse for anything that you want to do. If you make excuses, you’ll never get anywhere.